Health chiefs lose battle over services

PUBLISHED: 13:03 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:30 04 May 2010

EAST Cambridgeshire health chiefs have lost their fight to keep home rule which could leave staff facing redundancy. Despite their objections, the Government has decided that health services in the district will be controlled by one authority covering mos

EAST Cambridgeshire health chiefs have lost their fight to keep home rule which could leave staff facing redundancy.

Despite their objections, the Government has decided that health services in the district will be controlled by one authority covering most of the county.

The decision comes following three months of consultation and leaves primary care trusts across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough facing 15 per cent cuts in management costs in a bid to save £2.4 million.

Health chiefs in East Cambridgeshire have promised to "minimise redundancies" and anticipate only management and administrative jobs will be affected.

East Cambridgeshire and Fenland Primary Care Trust will be absorbed into one giant primary care trust covering the whole of Cambridgeshire, with the exception of Peterborough which will be served by its own PCT.

The decision, supported by Cambridgeshire County Council, has been made by the Department of Health.

East Cambridgeshire and Fenland PCT director of finance Jeremy Cook said: "The impact financially is £2.4 million, and we are working across PCTs to identify how these savings will be made.

"It is anticipated that only management and administrative jobs will be affected, and every effort will be made to minimise redundancies in order to ensure that valuable skills and experience are not lost to the service.

"It is likely that progression to the new structures will gather momentum over the next few weeks bringing to an end a period of considerable uncertainty.

"Until new structures are agreed, we cannot comment on how many jobs will be affected.

"The PCT board is making every effort to ensure that growth funding will continue to be diverted into the areas of greatest need within our area."

Cambridgeshire County Council deputy leader Cllr John Reynolds, said: "We hope this new structure will enable the two primary care trusts to meet the different health needs of urban Peterborough and the much more rural Cambridgeshire and this re-structuring must bring a continuous improvement to the health care of people throughout the city and the county.

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