latest health care news

08.05.15

NHS England U-turn – PCSS head office in Lancing to remain open

In a dramatic U-turn, NHS England has announced that the Primary Care Support Services (PCSS) head office in Lancing is to remain open, just weeks after it said the site would close.

In March NHS England announced plans to make 60 staff redundant and close the office as part of its move to outsource the service.

But it has now said that following a consultation with staff the office will remain open, though some staff will still take voluntary redundancy.

An NHS England spokesman told NHE: “NHS England is consolidating the back-office functions which support primary care and we have consulted with staff on possible sites closures.

“As a result of that consultation, the Lancing office will not be closing.

“Some staff at Lancing opted for voluntary redundancy and will leave the service over the next two months, so we will be reviewing the services that remain at the Lancing office.”

Unison had been campaigning on behalf of the support staff to halt the closure.

While the new announcement signals success, Caroline Fife, Unison regional organiser for the south-east, told the Shoreham Herald that the way the situation had been handled has left employees feeling upset.

She said: “There’s been a lot of upset about this last minute announcement.

“They were told the offices were closing at the end of June, then nine weeks before they are told it’s staying open with a reduced workforce.

“The staff, quite frankly, have been marched to the top of the hill and down again quite a few times now.”

Despite the office now remaining open, NHS England will continue with its plans to outsource PCSS nationwide. In January it announced the shortlisted bidders for the £1bn deal, which is one of the single largest outsourcing deals ever proposed in the NHS.

The three shortlisted bidders are:

  • Capgemini, a global consultancy and outsourcing firm, with South East Commissioning Support Unit;
  • Capita with Anglian Community Enterprise (a social enterprise providing community services in north east Essex); and
  • Equiniti, which specialises in finance and administration.

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