Anger as 270 jobs are axed
by Lorraine King Concerns have been raised over the future quality of patient care after a health trust announced they will be axing 270 posts in a cost-cutting exercise. In an effort to save �32 million, bosses at the North West London H
by Lorraine King
Concerns have been raised over the future quality of patient care after a health trust announced they will be axing 270 posts in a cost-cutting exercise.
In an effort to save �32 million, bosses at the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust have admitted the jobs will go.
Despite reassurance from the trust that there will be minimal redundancies, critics fear patients will ultimately suffer in the long term future.
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Last month the Times exclusively revealed that the posts were in jeopardy after the trust had their �330m budget slashed by around 10 per cent.
The Trust, which manages Central Middlesex Hospital in Park Royal and Northwick Park Hospital and St Mark's Hospital, both in Harrow, employs more than 4,200 medical and administrative staff.
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In a meeting between staff and health chiefs, the trust identified 35 job posts which could be made redundant, 80 roles filled by staff approaching retirement that may not be replaced, and 120 jobs which could be transferred to other organisations.
They also plan to curb the amount of money spent on agency staff and reduce overtime payments by ensuring surgery is carried out during normal working hours.
Sarah Cox, of the Campaign to Defend Brent's Health Services, is appalled by the cuts.
She said: "You cannot lose 270 staff posts without affecting the quality of patient care.
"Cuts in admin staff can lead to delays in organising patients' appointments or getting test results to GPs, and that can lead to delays in treatment; cuts in cleaning staff could set back the improvement the hospitals have made to their hygiene and infection control; cuts in frontline staff, already working under pressure, will lead to problems, discomfort and possibly even risks for patients."
Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East, agreed with Ms Cox, she said: "Many people in Brent rely on the services that our local hospital provides, and a programme of drastic cuts will have a serious impact on NHS care in the borough.
"This is bad news for local NHS staff, and bad news for local patients."
Fiona Wise, chief executive of the trust, was named one of the best paid public sector bosses in the UK thanks to her �160,000 annual salary.
In response to the cost-cutting measures she said: "This is a time of uncertainty for our staff and we will be offering them as much support as possible and seeking their ideas on how we can improve the way we work.
"We have not identified all the savings required and will be continuing to look at ways of changing the way we work to become more efficient.
"This may include making further changes to the workforce but we expect any further redundancies to be minimal."