Back office jobs supporting health services in the East Midlands will be reduced and outsourced by next spring, according to local newspaper reports.

Family Health Services, which is responsible for patient registration, payment processing, medical records management and similar services, will be run by NHS Shared Business Services from March next year.

The 152 jobs in Derby and Leicester will be reduced to 65, while 42 staff in Nottingham will be affected. The changes are subject to a 90-day staff consultation period.

Nine primary care trusts are involved in the reorganisation. They argue that transferring the services to NHS SBS, which is a joint venture between the Department of Health and Steria, will provide value for money.

Mike Walker, director of workforce and organisational development, at NHS Nottinghamshire told the Nottingham Evening Post that the move would offer "greater sustainability of services in the longer term."

But Barbara McKenna from Unison in the East Midlands said the move was "short-sighted", would cut jobs and wealth, and would not lead to greater efficiency.

The last, Labour government pointed to the outsourcing of back-office services as a source of efficiency in the NHS. The trend is unlikely to relax under the new, coalition administration.

On its website, NHS Shared Business Services says that it is picking up an increasing amount of business, with five trusts becoming clients for its finance and accounting and payroll services at the start of the summer.