NHS Digital to cut 500 jobs in major restructure

NHS Digital will cut around 500 jobs in a major restructure expected to "change the skills and capability of its workforce", Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Hancock confirmed earlier reports that the reconfiguration of NHS Digital would be delivered in a “series of waves”, set to be completed by 2020/21.

“At this stage, NHS Digital estimates that a net overall reduction in headcount of circa 500 full time equivalents is expected. A programme of staff engagement and discussions with staff representatives is in place. All staff will be affected by the restructuring and will be required to apply for posts in the new organisation structure,” the secretary told Parliament this week.

NHS Digital employs more than 2,500 staff around the country, including in London, Southport, and Southampton, while its head office is based in Leeds.

Computer Weekly reported earlier this year that NHS Digital organised several meetings with its staff to inform them of the restructure, with documents sent to employees indicating that those not be appointed by December this year would be offered the chance to consider voluntary redundancy, according to an email seen by the publication.

Hancock said the agency would “provide every facility to help staff secure suitable alternate employment”.

“A professional outplacement service has been secured to work with displaced staff and NHS Digital is seeking opportunities with other public and private sector employers in the areas affected,” he explained.

Sean Walsh, NHS Digital Director of Regions and Professions, said:

“This restructure is about skilling up our workforce and rethinking our structure. This will ensure that we have the deep skills and technical expertise to deliver the best service for both patients and customers, and that our structure allows us to flex according to the needs of the health and care sector.

“We estimate that the restructure will lead to a net reduction of around 500 full time equivalent roles across the organisation. Where possible, this will be through a combination of redeployment, natural turnover and suitable alternative employment.

“It is important to note that we cannot be precise about the exact numbers at this stage because they may change to reflect the outcomes of the proposals for change, as well as external influences which may affect us.

“This is understandably a difficult and challenging time for our hardworking employees and we are taking every possible step to provide them with all the help and support they need.”

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