A petition has been launched in Britain to try to stop details of patients in Derbyshire being sent to India for medical transcription. The aplan to process some personal data overseas was put forward earlier this year in a bid to save five million pounds from the budgets of the East Midlands' nine health authorities.
The union Unison has started gathering signatureagainst the proposal.
"We know the service will be a lesser one when done from India. And in this economic climate, local people don't need to be losing jobs. The NHS needs to be brave enough to ask its staff to make the savings," said Barbara McKenna, regional head of health for Unison.
The plans have been put forward by NHS Shared Business Services, which is a partnership between a private IT company and the Department of Health. It already provides some financial services on behalf of local NHS trusts.
Under the proposal, staff would work from several sites in the East Midlands with additional services provided from India, a system already in place with 130 NHS trusts.