AROUND 60 workers at the NHS Primary Care Support Service’s (PCSS) head office in Lancing are to be made redundant.
The PCSS was formed in 2005 and provides administrative and payment services to GPs, dentists, pharmacies and opticians throughout Surrey, Sussex and South West London.
An NHS England spokesman said: “NHS England, like all publicly funded NHS organisations, needs to make significant savings in order to protect delivery of front-line services.
“As part of a programme to reduce costs, a number of Primary Care Support Services will be consolidated onto fewer sites. Lancing is one of the sites that is proposed to close, and inevitably this will mean that some staff will be made redundant.
“NHS England is committed to supporting staff through this process and to find new employment opportunities within the NHS. During this period of change all services will continue to be provided to the primary care contractors in West Sussex.”
The move comes following NHS England’s decision to privatise Primary Care Support Services nationwide. The contract is estimated to be worth £1billion – the biggest in the history of the NHS.
The winning bidder will not be announced until after the general election. Bidders include Capita, CapGemini and Equiniti.
Current inhouse providers such as NHS Commissioning Support Units were not allowed to bid for the contract because they are already part of NHS England.
Staff at the Lancing office will remain in their posts until the end of June.
The decision and the way it has been handled has angered staff, according to Caroline Fife, UNISON regional organiser for the South East.
She said: “I think they are really cross about the way it’s been handled because there has been discussions about reorganisation for nearly two years, but until two weeks ago they still didn’t know what was happening or what their future was.
“I don’t think they are feeling particularly supported by NHS England. They have been in a bit of a limbo state. People like working for the NHS so they just continued until they knew what was happening with their jobs.
“I have been dealing with emails putting people in touch with local NHS organisations. My question is what have they (NHS England) done to mitigate redundancy?”