NHS Direct staff jobs fear

NHS Direct workers from a call centre in Ipswich are today facing an uncertain future after it was announced hundreds of jobs will be axed.The nurse-led telephone helpline for the NHS announced today that it will shed 12 call centres around the UK in the hopes of saving £15million and balancing its books.

NHS Direct workers from a call centre in Ipswich are today facing an uncertain future after it was announced hundreds of jobs will be axed.

The nurse-led telephone helpline for the NHS announced today that it will shed 12 call centres around the UK in the hopes of saving £15million and balancing its books.

Although the Ipswich call centre, in Landseer Road, is not one of those to be closed staff may still loose their jobs in the major reshuffle.

A spokesman for NHS Direct said: “There will be a number of jobs that will be put at risk by today's news and we will be informing those who are affected within the next few weeks.


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“Most of the cuts will be made to middle managers and we will try hard not to affect the front line staff but as yet I cannot say which positions will go and where they will be from.”

Twenty-two nurses who currently work in the call centre from the premises of the Riverside Clinic to the east of Ipswich have to wait for confirmation about the security of their jobs.

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NHS Direct, which provides a 24-hour advice service to patients across England, is proposing to close smaller call centres in towns such as Doncaster, York and Cambridge, while expanding others as part of a restructuring programme.

NHS Direct was set up in 1997 to help give medical advice to people on how to deal with symptoms and to direct them to the correct place in the event of an emergency.

As well handling millions of calls each year on its helpline, it also displays advice on its website, which attracts around one million visits a month.

The NHS Direct plan proposes cutting a total of 789 posts, 573 through redundancies and 216 through natural turnover.

It said that the expansion of some of its call centres would also help create 376 new posts, making the total number actually lost more like 400.

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