Healthcare devolution will bring job losses

Majority of people working in primary care trusts feel that NHS reforms will cause chaos and lead to dangerous practices

The devolution of healthcare from primary care trusts to GPs is seen as a dangerous precedent which could lead chaos and little financial savings, Public can excuslively reveal.

A new survey of 400 health manager and workers in primary care trusts by recuiter Morgan Hunt, has revealed that 80% of respondents thought that the rapid devolution of power from PCTs to GP practices could be dangerous and chaotic.

Many of PCT personnel interviewed were 'sceptical' that the savings will be made. Almost three-quarters of them (72%) said that the reorganisation will not cut costs and more than 8% believe that the reorganisation will actually prove more expensive than the current system.

More than two-thirds of PCT managers say that they would consider looking for employment in a GP consortium. Even though most respondents say that PCT managers have the skills to migrate to the new consortia, the majority (more than 71%) say that there will be major job losses.

Rob Hilder, head of health practice at Morgan Hunt,said: "Whilst there will inevitably be some job losses, new opportunities for PCT management will almost certainly emerge. We are currently working with a number of GPs and the private healthcare sector and it seems evident that the skills of PCT managers are still in demand.

"GPs will need to draw upon the strategic, corporate, commercial, financial and commissioning skills to strengthen their respective consortia and commission effectively. It is likely managers from PCTs and SHAs will be offered positions either in regional commissioning bodies or directly through GPs. We are working to help both GPs and PCT managers during this transition."

There was little confidence among respondents that the planned changes would create a situation that was noticeably different from the current situation. Only 37% of them said that the GP consortia would be distinguishable from PCTs by 2013.

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