By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan
NHS bosses have revealed that more job losses are likely to take place at one of their organisations in Kent, although not because of the coronavirus crisis.
Senior worker jobs at Kent and Medway’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) remain under threat amid a major reshuffle which saw the county’s eight CCGs merge into one body in April. The CCG commissions medical services across the Kent and Medway region.
Becca Bradd, executive director of people and organisational development at NHS Kent and Medway CCG, says a “small number” of voluntary lay-offs have been made at senior level where there has been a “duplication” of the role.
More are planned, but Ms Bradd said: “As this process is not yet complete and we continue to support our colleagues, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
The revelation comes less than a week after NHS bosses were probed by councillors about the CCG restructure, at a Medway Council health scrutiny committee meeting, which saw the firm become an integrated health service.
Rochester Cllr Teresa Murray, who is the deputy leader of Medway Council’s Labour Group, questioned whether any job losses had taken place in the “streamlined” organisation and whether more were likely in the future.
Wilf Williams, who heads up the organisation as the accountable officer, said a “small number of redundancies” had been made since April and indicated there would likely be “further” ones.
During the virtual public meeting last Tuesday, he said: “We don’t expect significant redundancies, more than the few that we have had so far.”
Mr Williams said the CCG had also invited “expressions of interest” for voluntary redundancy and that continues to be looked at.
He added: “Our new structure has more positions than currently people in post, although that does mask some areas where there may be some reductions and people cannot necessarily transfer from those areas.”
The NHS chief said a figure has been “budgeted for” but this was not revealed to the committee or by the Kent and Medway CCG in their latest statement.
Concluding, Ms Bradd said: “An essential part of establishing our new organisation is bringing together our teams, including a single leadership team, to collectively manage the planning and development of healthcare services for people across Kent and Medway.
“We have worked hard to retain as many of our people, their knowledge, experience and skills as possible.”