Job loss NHS primary care trust in merger plan in Essex

A primary care trust in Essex which is seeking volunteers for redundancy in a bid to save £3.2m could merge with another to save on management costs.

The joining of NHS South West Essex, which is seeking to plug its debt, and NHS South East Essex would improve collaborative working, the trusts said.

NHS South West Essex wants to save £52m, which would include reducing staff to 2008 levels.

The merger is subject to ratification by both trusts later this month.

New chief

The selection process for a new chief, who would lead both trusts, will begin in the next few weeks.

Both trusts will, for the time being, remain as independent statutory bodies and keep their own board, a spokesman said.

The merger is in line with government proposals to transfer most primary care trust commissioning responsibilities to new GP consortia by 2013 and is not linked to the redundancy plan, the trusts said.

NHS South West Essex staff have also been advised that compulsory redundancy is likely to be necessary to reduce head count, a spokesman added.

NHS South East Essex is not currently proposing either voluntary or compulsory redundancy schemes for staff.

NHS Mid Essex, NHS North East Essex and NHS West Essex announced similar cluster arrangements earlier this month.

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