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05.08.15

Redundancies ‘likely’ at two CSUs forced to close

Yorkshire & Humber and North West CSUs are both to close down within months, with redundancies “likely”, according to NHS England – and transfers out of the NHS a possibility for other staff. 

They were the only two commissioning support units to fail to get on the Commissioning Support Lead Provider Framework for the full range of ‘end-to-end’ support services, putting their viability in doubt. 

It is now confirmed that both CSUs, which collectively employ 2,100 staff and serve 47 CCGs, will have to ‘transition’ to new arrangements. 

A spokesperson for NHS England told NHE: “The CSUs are in a transition phase at the moment. CCG customers are developing their commissioning intentions and will be seeking alternative arrangements over the coming few months. It is impossible to say exactly when the CSUs will close but we expect all new arrangements to be in place by the end of March 2016.” 

They said that while “all efforts” will be made to secure as many new roles as possible for the staff, it is “likely that some posts will become redundant”.  

Sarah France, Unison North West Regional Organiser, who is representing members of NWCSU, told us: “Unison is engaged in ongoing discussions about the future of the CSU functions and staff. 

“We think that North West CSU is best placed to provide commissioning support to CCGs and that it should have been granted lead provider status in order to continue in this role after April 2016.     

“We believe that the CSU role continues to be a vital one in the co-ordination of our health service and that this role should be performed by staff employed within the NHS.” 

The GMB union is also representing staff at the CSUs. It suggested that some staff are likely to be TUPE'd into the private sector. 

When the LPF was announced in February, six CSUs made it into Lot 1 (end-to-end commissioning support) along with three private sector bidders: Capita, Optum and MBED. 

NHS England told us that when YHCSU and NWSCU services are transitioned the expectation is that staff will transfer either to one of the providers on the LPF – so potentially into the private sector – or a CCG. 

However, the spokesperson added: “Until arrangements are agreed by customers, we cannot say for definite where the staff and services will be transitioned to. Where services transfer to new providers, estates and assets are part of the process. This means that where it is appropriate to do so offices can transfer to the new provider.”

(Image: c. Dominic Lipinski and PA Wire)

Comments

John Smith   10/08/2015 at 13:32

40 staff supporting each CCG? That seems an utterly ridiculous number.

Amoore   10/08/2015 at 16:56

The failure of these two CSUs must surely be a reflection of how poorly they performed over the past few years? The organisational ethos many CSUs inherited from PCTs and the view that they were there to `do it to the GPs` was contrary to the situation that the GPs were now in charge. That the NWCSU also won the Plain English Campaigns "Bull" award in 2013/4 was indicative of an unreal mindset. There won`t be many tears shed to see some CSUs disappear - its just a shame for their best staff who might suffer.

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