Clinical jobs axed for hospital restructuring
PUBLISHED: 15:09 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 25 August 2010
A NEWLY merged hospital trust has started culling clinical jobs as well as a wave of administration posts. Bosses at South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLTH) are keeping tight-lipped about which posts are set to go but staff have told the Times that mat
A NEWLY merged hospital trust has started culling clinical jobs as well as a wave of administration posts.
Bosses at South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLTH) are keeping tight-lipped about which posts are set to go but staff have told the Times that matron jobs are some of the posts under threat.
SLTH came into being on April 1 last year, in a bid to save money. It manages Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, (QMS), Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, (QEH) and the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough (PRUH)
A nurse at the PRUH, who wished to remain anonymous, said matrons at the Bromley hospital are having to re-apply for their jobs.
They said: "There are fifteen matrons and only eleven posts.
"Matrons are getting really annoyed because they are cutting these jobs and it just means there is going to be less specialist staff."
Already, the A&E at QMS has closed, despite widespread opposition from residents and politicians.
The merged Trust, which already has a historic debt of £196 million, recorded
an additional annual debt of £46.7 million this month.
An SLHT spokesperson refused to say which staff groups are affected but provided the following statement: "There will be a limited number of redundancies as we continue a restructuring following the merger of the three hospitals.
"All areas of the trust will be affected by these redundancies.
"This is a painful but necessary process for a Trust with very significant debt problems. Staff groups who are affected will go through a consultation period where issues will be discussed.
"Some of these consultations are already taking place. At all times, patient safety is our absolute priority.
"However, in many clinical areas we will actually be recruiting more permanent members of staff to reduce our reliance on expensive agency staff and provide more stable teams, to further improve patient care."
Even before the merger, in May 2008 the three hospitals were making cuts and merging jobs.
QMS - the only non-Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital from the trio - transferred approximately 14 financial jobs to NHS Shared Business Services, a joint organisation between the Department of Health and the private company Xansa.
The Bromley trust entered into one of the biggest PFI deals in England and Wales in 1998 when it signed a contract for
£155 million for the PRUH.