The future of 1,200 NHS bureaucrats in Yorkshire has been thrown into doubt after they lost a contract to provide services to local health chiefs.
The Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support was created out of the Government’s controversial NHS reforms.
Its staff give essential support to the region’s 23 GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which broadly replaced primary care trusts to commission care.
In an assessment process, it was only one of two in England to be told it no longer had a future - although it remains unclear why.
NHS bosses say they are yet to decide how its services could be provided in the future although one likely option is a merger with a unit providing similar services in the North East and Cumbria. Alternatively, CCGs could provide services themselves.
Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Support said it was examining how it could continue to deliver services to customers.
It said: “We are working with NHS England to look at our options and will have more clarity on our future form over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we have existing contracts to fulfil, and our staff are continuing to deliver their usual high standard of services to our customers.”
An NHS England spokesman: “For any CSU that has been unsuccessful, transition boards will be set up to ensure service continuity for customers alongside support and direction for staff.
“Transition boards may consider pulling in resources from other CSUs to ensure there is sufficient capacity and capability available to CCGs.”
Initially three separate organisations, the CSU became two before merging into one unit. It has main offices in York, Bradford, Sheffield, and Willerby, near Hull. Original plans by Ministers to float CSUs as commercial enterprises have been abandoned although some private firms have won approval to provide services.