Sheffield surgery staff in dark over future of jobs

Westfield Health Centre.
Westfield Health Centre.
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Staff at a threatened Sheffield surgery say they are in the dark over their futures - as NHS bosses decide in the next few days whether a new provider can be appointed.

About five workers are employed at the Westfield Health Centre, where NHS England is currently seeking a new provider to take over from January once current GP Dr Gurcharan Singh Chadha retires.

Health bosses initially said the surgery would close, but following a public protest started a re-procurement process.

An announcement is expected today as to whether a permanent new provider has been found for the surgery, which has almost 2,000 patients, or if an interim service will run from January.

While NHS England said it hopes to appoint a new provider, one member of staff said they have been told their redundancy notices for Wednesday, December 31, still stand and some staff have already found other jobs.

The worker, who declined to be named, said: “Not one person from the NHS has consulted with us at all. We are concerned they will supply a GP, but there will still be no staff here.”

Richard Armstrong, director of commissioning for South Yorkshire at NHS England, said if a new provider does start in January, staff will be able to transfer over.

He said: “Staff currently employed at Westfield Health Centre are employed by Dr Chadha and it’s his responsibility to consult with them about their employment situation. NHS England has made Dr Chadha aware of his legal obligation and responsibilities as an employer.

“If NHS England is successful in appointing a new provider to take over the practice, from the beginning of January 2015 with no break in employment for staff, then they will be entitled to transfer to the new provider with their employment being protected.

“We are focusing our efforts to achieve the best outcome for staff.”