132 doctor posts could be scrapped at South London Healthcare Trust
PUBLISHED: 10:58 14 December 2011
Up to 132 doctor posts could go as a hospital trust tries to gain foundation status and make £30 million savings.
A memo leaked to the Times reveals South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) chief executive, Chris Streather, told staff that there was “no time for long debate” in creating a “transformed and smaller workforce”.
The trust manages Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough.
Mr Streather also admitted that the organisation was “falling well short” in meeting targets for waiting times and preventing pressure ulcers.
Management consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers were asked to find ways to make the trust more efficient. They produced a report for management in September which found it had to make £30 million savings.
Princess Royal’s Dr Andrew McKay, from the Local Negotiation Committee (LNC) which mediates between management and staff, sent an email to all orthopaedic doctors last month.
Also leaked to the Times, it states: “The PricewaterhouseCoopers review has at last been circulated.
“It is clear the trust is thinking about between 57–132 doctor redundancies/early retirements/natural wastage which is very concerning to us all across SLHT.”
The Department of Health has given SLHT until the end of December to produce a plan showing how it will make the savings within four years if it is to become a Foundation Trust.
If it does not become a Foundation Trust, it will have to merge with one, which could be Kings or Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Health campaigner Dave Mott said: “Cutting this number of staff is extremely worrying. How can they say they are putting the patient first?”
An SLHT spokesman said: “The savings we need to make on pay means that we will reduce pay costs by around £30m next year. The trust currently spends a very similar amount on temporary staff and it is our plan to place the emphasis on this area of our spend alongside a substantial reduction on non clinical management.
“The review is in its planning stage at the moment and as with all staff groups, we anticipate the numbers of compulsory redundancies being low.”