A review is underway of public health nursing posts and other roles in Nottinghamshire, with around 40 redundancies expected, as part of a major service redesign.
Under the shake-up by Nottinghamshire County Council, a new “integrated healthy child and public health nursing” programme for 0-19 year olds will be introduced.
“The trust has started a review of staffing and posts2
It will combine the area’s current family nurse partnership, health visiting, school nursing, the National Childhood Measurement Programme and breast-feeding support into a single service to “provide holistic health and wellbeing information and guidance”.
Last month, the council announced that it had awarded a three-year contract to provide the new integrated programme from 1 April 2017 to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The contract value of the current separate services in 2016-17 totals £15,311,157 but this will be reduced significantly over the term of the new contract, which was put out to tender in May.
The contract value for the next financial year is £14,208,321 but will fall to £13,652,775 in 2018-19 and then £13,035,954 in 2019-20.
As a result, the trust said it would “have had to make significant changes to the way services are delivered” with 20 new locally-based “healthy families teams” formed.
“The skill mix of the new ‘healthy families teams’ requires significant changes to the existing workforce,” it said in a statement.
“This will be done through the natural turnover of staff and some recruitment. However, due to the reduced funding and the requirements of the new contract we need to make a reduction of 38 posts,” it added.
Paul Smeeton, executive director local partnerships at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said “The trust has started a review of staffing and posts and will work with staff found to be at risk to minimise job losses and ensure they are redeployed within the organisation wherever possible.
“We currently have a number of vacancies and will work closely with staff to support those who want to stay working for the trust,” he said.
Public health jobs to go under Nottingham shake-up
The council, which took over commissioning of all children’s public health nursing services for 0 to 19 year olds, in October 2015, is facing similar financial challenges to others around the country.
Its available funding for such services had been reduced following a reduction in the public health grant provided to local authorities by the Department of Health.
Dr Kate Allen, consultant in public health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “As part of the procurement process, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has identified how the workforce will be redesigned to meet the requirements of the new service.
“This will include a remodelling of the current workforce resulting in workforce reductions in some areas of the service, and increases in others,” he said.
“Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are working closely together over the coming months as the services transform,” he added.