NHS IT workers defect as public sector cuts bite

The budget cuts have also led to consolidation within teams, with IT directors expected to take on a wider range of management responsibilities, she said.

"Having been in constant contact with [many NHS] organisations over the last three years, we have witnessed very rapid personnel changes," explained Aldred.

"Very few have the same staff in place, even at director level...Instead of having a director of IT, director of finance, director of performance and director of strategy, these roles are being amalgamated into fewer posts."

Healthcare software provider Quicksilva form part of the product ecosystem that powers the NHS Connecting for Health project.

Gayna Hart, the firm's managing director, said the push for health trusts to achieve NHS Foundation Trust status may also be prompting more public sector workers to defect.

The Foundation Trust initiative was set up to encourage trust staff and managers to set their own budgets and agenda, based on the needs of their local area.

"The shift means they will all have to start operating as businesses, becoming profitable and concentrate on doing their core services, in this case providing healthcare, cost effectively," said Hart.

"Therefore, I think we will see more health trusts adopt the same approach to IT that many private healthcare provide take, which usually involves farming most of it out to third parties."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.