Around 500 NHS Digital staff could be axed as part of the organisation’s restructure, the secretary of state for health and social care has said.

Matt Hancock was asked by the MP for Leeds Central, Hilary Benn, about how many redundancies are planned at the organisation. NHS Digital is headquartered in the northern city.

In a written statement, Hancock confirmed around 500 jobs could be lost as part of the ‘Org2’ redesign.

He said NHS Digital’s restructuring is planned to be delivered in a series of ‘waves’ and is due to be completed by 2020/21 with wave one ‘currently in progress’.

Digital Health News first reported on the redundancies in August 2018 and understood that around 600 NHS Digital staff were told they would need to re-apply for their jobs.

If the 500 figure cited by Hancock proves correct, it would mean only around 100 members of staff who were told to re-apply would be offered roles.

In a statement, Sean Walsh – NHS Digital’s director of regions and professions – said the cuts would come from a mix of “redeployment, natural turnover and suitable alternative employment”.

He added: “It is important to note that we cannot be precise about the exact numbers at this stage because they may change to reflect the outcomes of the proposals for change, as well as external influences which may affect us.

“This is understandably a difficult and challenging time for our hardworking employees and we are taking every possible step to provide them with all the help and support they need.”