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Staff leave Eccleshill Treatment Centre ahead of closure
4:24pm Monday 30th June 2014 in News
THE last clinic will be held tomorrow at a Bradford medical centre which is due to close next week.
The majority of the staff working for Care UK, which has run Eccleshill Treatment Centre since 2010, left the building for the final time today and were met by a 15-year-old who had been campaigning to save the facility.
James Slater started his fight after Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds it, announced it was unable to sign a new contract with Care UK.
"The petition has had more than 3,500 signatures and was seen by 35,000 on social media, so it has raised a lot of awareness.
"Staff have told me it was a comfort for them that someone was trying to save their jobs."
All 79 staff at the centre, in Harrogate Road, had been told they faced losing their jobs or being relocated.
Care UK's contract runs until July 7. It had submitted a new bid to continue running services, but an agreement could not be met about the possible replacement of existing MRI and CT equipment.
Treatment centre manager Chris Wardman said: "Over the past few weeks Care UK has paid for career consultants to offer help and advice to every team member who wanted it and also given people time off during the working week to go for interviews.
"As a result, I’m really pleased that, already, 72 per cent of my team have already secured permanent new jobs, most in healthcare locally. A few more have decided to retire and some have chosen to take a little time off before searching for a new role.”
A spokesman for Bradford District and Bradford City CCGs said: "Diagnostics services based at Eccleshill Treatment Centre are currently being re-procured, which will result in increased choice and improved access for local patients.
"This process follows the outcome of a recent tendering process which left us unable to award a new contract for the NHS diagnostics and treatment services at the centre."
He said interests of patients and staff remained the highest priority.
"After advertising for new providers of diagnostics services, we are in a period of evaluation. There has been a very positive response with 16 potential providers submitting expressions of interest," he added.
"Not all of these providers would require the use of the treatment centre building, but some are in discussions with NHS Property Services, which own the building, about rental space.
"We are, however, confident that some services will be based at Eccleshill with other providers proposing to deliver diagnostics from GP practices or other premises in the Bradford area.
"We will eventually have many new providers of diagnostics services available across Bradford."
Eccleshill Community Hospital and independent GPs practices at the site are not affected.