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Suffolk community posts will be cut

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The private takeover of community services in Suffolk will almost certainly see nursing posts reduced in future, a senior manager has admitted.

Valerie Michie, managing director for health at private firm Serco, has acknowledged that the company expects to reduce the number of community posts in the county.

Around 1,000 NHS staff – a large proportion of which are nurses – transferred to the management company after it won a £140m contract to provide community services across Suffolk earlier this year.

Ms Michie told Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal that the company planned to introduce innovative mobile technology solutions, which would make nurses’ jobs easier.

She accepted savings released through improved technology would come in part through a reduction in workforce costs, but suggested this could come through natural attrition.

“That is no different than what the NHS is currently trying to do,” she said.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    'the company expects to reduce the number of community posts in the county.

    “That is no different than what the NHS is currently trying to do,” she said.'

    REALLY ?! I thought 'more care in the community, and reduced admissions to hospitals' was one of the 'big ideas' beneath current health 'planning' (if you use the word) ?

    Until those reduced admissions to hospital have been achieved, how can you claim that they can be achieved with less community nurses: logically, it probably requires more community nurses, surely ?

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  • As far as I am aware no one has defined what "more Care in the Community" actually consists of! How are these admissions to hospital going to be reduced , what is the strategy ?
    Currently, in many parts of the country out of hours medical and nursing care is only noticeable by its absence!

    A close and scientific (or forensic) examination of what District Nurses, Health Visitors,ect actually do and what they achieve is long overdue.

    Can we continue to afford the "social" visit? Are such visits useful in preventing hospital admission or improving standards of heath/treatment compliance ?

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