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Patients at risk as cash-strapped councils outsource services in middle of pandemic, warn NHS bosses

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Nurses and essential healthcare staff could be left redundant in the middle of the pandemic as local authorities look to make changes to healthcare contracts that would leave patients facing major disruption, NHS bosses have warned.

NHS Providers, which represents all NHS trusts, and NHS Confederation, which represents health and care organisations, said that the decision to put contracts for public health services out to tender as workers battle coronavirus in the community is “completely inappropriate” and a “damaging distraction”, creating uncertainty for those who have spent the past six months on the COVID-19 frontline.

Shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth told The Independent: “This process is disruptive and wasteful at the best of times, but to be doing this mid-pandemic is risky, unnecessary and undermines the ability of frontline health workers to focus not only on preparations for a potential second wave, but a whole host of other health issues, such as Covid rehabilitation, community mental health services and children’s health, all of which are now urgent priorities.”

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Source: The Independent, 1 September 2020

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