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Revamp may result in job losses

PUBLISHED: 13:25 02 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

JOBS at Suffolk Health are in jeopardy as moves to merge health authorities gather speed.

All 95 health authorities across Britain are to be revamped into just 30 organisations to be known as Strategic Health Authorities.

JOBS at Suffolk Health are in jeopardy as moves to merge health authorities gather speed.

All 95 health authorities across Britain are to be revamped into just 30 organisations to be known as Strategic Health Authorities, each covering 1.5million people.

Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire health authorities will be merged to form one SHA – like the East Anglian Ambulance Trust whose merger was criticised by a public inquiry in 1999 which ordered more local control to be brought back.

The new SHA will come under the leadership of a regional director based in Leeds instead of the current Eastern NHS Executive Office.

It is not yet known where the regional SHA will be based.

Meetings are being arranged across Suffolk so members of the public can have their say, and recruitment adverts for chief executive posts will be publicised after September.

Suffolk Health chairwoman Joanna Spicer told directors that Suffolk Health, based in Foxhall Road, would not be operating come April 1 next year.

She said: "The security that our staff have known, of an organisation and its premises – let alone having a job, is going to radically change."

She said the health authority needed to invest time and energy to make sure it stayed "innovative and responsive" in the run-up to the changes.

The Primary Care Groups already in place, are also to be converted to Primary Care Trusts.

They will be responsible for allocating funding for primary care such as doctors and dentist services.

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