A HEALTH care insurance firm has announced as many as 195 jobs could be axed across its Hampshire offices.

Simplyhealth, which has 250 staff in Winchester and 850 in Andover, has launched a 45-day consultation over the proposals.

The provider of health, dental and pet health plans said both centres could see redundancies, which would equate to around 18 per cent of the workforce.

A team manager at Simplyhealth, who contacted the Daily Echo, said: “I’ve worked at Simplyhealth for 15 years and this is heartbreaking.

“This is such a great company to work for and to think that people are going to be out of work before Christmas is awful. Although the marketplace is changing this is a symptom of top-level management not listening to employees for years.” 

In a video shared with staff, Romana Abdin, Simplyhealth chief executive officer, said she wanted to be “completely open and honest” with employees.

“The proposals we will be exploring suggest a reduction of 195 roles across the whole of Simplyhealth as we move into one growth, one service and one support centre,” said Ms Abdin. “I realise many of you will feel anxious and uncertain about what this now means.

“So that you know what this means we will be moving through this as quickly as possible. My commitment is that everyone affected will be treated with care and in the Simplyhealth way.

“Our work on our future property strategy continues and today we have no plans to close our Winchester building.”

Staff at the firm’s office in Winchester told the Daily Echo they could not comment on the situation.

Simplyhealth merged with Denplan in 2017, with the latter becoming Simplyhealth Professionals.

It is believed the plan could see the firm move some Winchester staff to Andover.

Richard Gillies, Simplyhealth chief operating officer, said: “Simplyhealth is moving towards a new model to help us meet the changing healthcare needs of our customers and to provide the best quality health care. These changes are part of our investment in the business and Simplyhealth brand in order for us to grow whilst maintaining our commitment to Andover and Winchester.

“We are reshaping our structure to be able to bring new skills and capabilities into the business and as we move towards a new model, roles across the business will be affected.

“We have therefore begun a formal consultation with employee representatives. The changes we have proposed have not been made lightly and we will do all we can to support our colleagues who are impacted and, where possible, we will support those colleagues to move into alternative roles within Simplyhealth.

“We know that thriving communities make a great place to live and so we are committed to remaining in Andover and Winchester to support our colleagues, our customers and the wider community.”