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NHS England delays consultation on restructure and job cuts

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NHS England has delayed a consultation with staff on a planned large reduction in posts and structural reorganisation, following feedback from staff, it has said.

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The organisation said earlier this month that it would begin consultation with its very senior managers and clinicians about its proposed changes on 8 September, then with all affected less senior staff today.

However, an email sent to all NHS England staff this afternoon said it had decided to delay the start of consultation with all staff affected by change until 1 October.

“The decision… follows feedback from colleagues which included queries and concerns about the timing of the consultation for different groups of staff and when the detail around field force structures would be available,” the email said.  

NHS England had also indicated it would issue further details of planned changes to its regional and area team structures imminently, but the email said it needed to “allow sufficient time for the detailed work to be completed around the proposed structures for the future”.

LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal revealed last month that NHS England was planning to cut hundreds of posts before April next year, and was reorganising its area teams.

The three regions outside London will be reorganised with large reductions in the number of area team directors, and those remaining working across different teams.

NHS England’s email said the delay was to ensure its planned changes to national and regional teams “work together effectively so that we have an operating model that is fit for purpose”.

“It is also essential that we ensure we achieve the savings required for 2015-16 so we need to get the details correct now,” it added.  

Plans sent to staff earlier this month said one in four of NHS England’s very senior manager and senior clinical posts could be abolished.

Changes will affect its national as well as local teams, and the organisation is establishing new teams focused on specialised commissioning and on strategy.

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