Berkshire

Berkshire PCTs' healthcare staff to merge under plans

About 2,000 health staff managed by two Berkshire primary care trusts (PCTs) are set to merge under one health body.

Frontline nursing and healthcare staff from East and West Berkshire PCTs will be managed by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust from April 2011.

Under government cost-cutting plans, primary care trusts in England are set to be abolished as part of a shake-up of finances over three years.

The plans will reduce management costs by more than 45% over the coming years.

'Reduce duplication'

Philippa Slinger, chief executive of Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, which operates mental health services, said the trust would become the community healthcare provider for the county.

Although job losses are expected it is believed to be a low number.

Ms Slinger said the main aim would be that patients would not notice any change in services.

"The second objective is what we can start to do, is we can reduce duplication and try and free up more time for nurses to see patients," she added.

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