Derry to lose health admin jobs in centralisation plans

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The North’s Health Minister has announced he is to press ahead with centralisation plans that will see an estimated 60 jobs taken out of Derry.

Edwin Poots this morning told the Stormont Assembly of the plans that will create four new “centres of expertise” across the North.

As a result, staff who currently work in the Western Health Trust’s payroll department in Derry will be expected to travel to Belfast which has become the new payroll centre.

All human resources staff will be based in Armagh, with finance payments in Ballymena and finance income in Omagh.

“This new model, along with the implementation of the new systems, will support a consistently high standard of modern corporate services. But, more importantly, systems implementation and shared services together will generate savings of almost £120million over a 10-year period, with annual savings rising to £17million per annum.

“It is vital for the welfare of patients that we free up that money, as it will be redeployed to the front line of health and social care,” Mr Poots said.

However the Minister further announced the creation of an interim ‘recruitment and selection satellite office’ in Derry that will last for two years and keep 15 posts in the city.

“I have decided, as part of the transition to the four shared service centres of expertise, to create a temporary ‘accounts payable satellite office’ of 25-30 staff in Downpatrick and a temporary ‘recruitment and selection satellite office’ with around 15 staff in Londonderry.

“I believe that these arrangements, which would last for a maximum of two years, will considerably reduce the displacement difficulties for the affected staff and will provide additional time for employees and employers to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement, as far as possible, taking into account the personal circumstances of staff.”

Full details in tomorrow’s ‘Derry Journal’.