NHS reshuffle of services begins

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THE running of dozens of NHS services has been transferred to new providers in the latest round of health service reforms.

Health bosses have stressed that patient care and staff pay and conditions will not be affected as services are moved out of the primary care trust to providers including Wakefield Council and Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The transforming community services project means 1,300 staff have changed employers, but services will be delivered from the samelocations.

PCT deputy chief executive Ann Ballarini said: “There’s been a lot of working going on in the background and we’ve engaged extensively with staff, partners and colleagues in recent months as part of this process.

“I’d like to thank all those involved who have worked very hard to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”

The council is taking over short breaks for children and community equipment for wheelchair services.

Social enterprise Spectrum Community Health will run substance misuse, sexual health and prison health and well-being services.

South West Yorkshire Mental Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will run services including stop smoking, public health education and children’s mental health.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals will run children’s community nursing, speech and language therapy and nursing for the youth offending team.

The trust will also run adult services including dermatology, diabetes education and GP services in hospital A&E.

Julia Squire, hospital trust chief executive, said: “We have welcomed a team of colleagues who bring a wealth of expertise, experience and skills to our trust and together we’ll develop a new integrated care organisation with integrated pathways across acute and community care.”

The move comes ahead of government plans to scrap PCTs and hand commissioning powers to GPs under the controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

The bill has met widespread opposition from the British Medical Association and led to a vote of no confidence in health secretary Andrew Lansley from the Royal College of Nursing.