Primary Care Trust jobs to be axed in local NHS shake-up

UP to 150 jobs are to be lost in the local NHS as part of a proposed shake-up.

Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust (PCT), which runs services like GP surgeries and sexual health clinics, will cease to exist from April 2013.

All of its frontline staff, together with staff from East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT, will start working for the hospital trust.

But 150 staff, who work in administration, finance and management for the PCT here in 1066 Country, face redundancy.

The move comes as the Government intends to scrap PCTs and replace them with consortiums of GPs, who would manage the budget.

Under the Health and Social Care Bill published by ministers on Wednesday, these would be in charge of planning and buying everything from community health centres to hospital services.

Margaret Williams, chairman of Hands off the Conquest, said: “The job losses are very unfortunate as they come at a dreadful time in terms of the economy.

“But it will be good to have the services more local and run by the hospital trust without the bureaucracy.”

A spokesman for Hastings and Rother PCT said the organisation has to make 45 per cent in management savings between now and 2013.

He said some of the 150 staff facing the axe will soon be receiving their redundancy notices but remained tight-lipped on how many that was.

A spokesman for East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Conquest and Eastbourne DGH, said: “The NHS is facing a highly challenging period over the coming years. Work is ongoing on developing our clinical strategy and we are continually looking at ways to improve the quality of the service we offer patients as well as ensuring we provide a more efficient one.

“We have agreed with our local PCTs that from January 1 we would take management responsibility for all their local community health care services.

“With our PCTs we have also begun work on the formal integration of their community services with the trust from April 1, subject to approval processes.

“This will see the trust’s workforce rise by approximately 2,300 and income by approximately £80 million. This is huge opportunity to improve services to local people providing a truly seamless service.”