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NHS Direct staff to lose jobs

7th December 2012

More than 1,400 jobs are reported to be under threat at NHS Direct as the organisation changes its health advice telephone service.

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A 90-day consultation period is now under way, covering 1,470 whole-time equivalent (wte) staff involved in delivering NHS Direct’s appointments line.

The move comes with the ending of the 0845 nurse-led health advice telephone service provided by NHS Direct from April in favour of NHS 111, which will be delivered predominantly by non-clinical staff.

NHS Direct chief executive Nick Chapman said: “NHS Direct is committed to avoiding redundancies wherever possible by redeploying staff into suitable alternative employment providing the new NHS 111 service with NHS Direct or one of the other providers of the service, or into roles in the wider NHS.”

NHS Direct has won a number of NHS 111 contracts and will need 850 wte staff to work on the service, though it does expect additional posts to be confirmed once it works through the details of the other services – currently available through the 0845 service – that it has been commissioned to deliver by NHS Commissioning Board.

These include the delivery of the complex health information and medicines service and the dental nurse assessment service until March 2014, and online services with a ‘click for nurse assessment’ service until March 2015.

Mr Chapman stressed that it was still “early days” in the process but he indicated that it would mean continued employment for some health information advisors, dental nurse advisors, nurse advisors and staff in support roles.

 

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