Brent hospitals hit by job cuts

Trade union warns that 87 posts are set to go at central Middlesex, Northwick Park, an St Mark’s hospitals

HEALTH chiefs are planning to axe around 87 posts including 49 clinical roles as the Government cuts sink into the NHS.

Bosses at North West London Hospital NHS Trust are proposing the job losses just two years after they slashed hundreds of roles in a similar belt-tightening exercise.

According to Unite, the union for health workers, the redundancies will affect staff at Central Middlesex Hospital (CMH) in Park Royal, Northwick Park Hospital and St Mark’s Hospital, both in Harrow, which are managed by the trust.

The news will come as a blow to the trust’s workers who have clung on to their jobs after 400 posts were axed in January 2009 as the trust scrambled to save �32m.

Steve Hart, Unite’s London’s regional secretary, said the cuts will have a devastating effect on his members and the NHS.

He said: “For those of you who have friends and loved ones working in the NHS this will all come as no surprise.

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“It’s likely they’ll be experiencing changes already, and probably not for the better.”

Since the trust announced the massive job losses in 2009 it has come under fire after the Times revealed they had contributed �12,425 towards a �40,000 recruitment trip to Dubai that attracted just eight nurses in July 2009.

The trip took place days before they closed Central Middlesex’s gynaecological service as they battle to pay off debts of an estimated �29m.

A month later the Times discovered the trust was paying �2m a year in agency fees as four out of ten doctors and nurses working at CMH being either temporary or locum staff.

Last year CMH downgraded their children’s services and axed their emergency surgery services and are no longer accepting ‘blue light 999’ cases of patients who needed emergency surgery.

The hospital has also had to step up its security after thieves managed to steal surgical equipment worth around �250,000 in May and October.

Sarah Cox, a health campaigner from Harlesden has been at the forefront of protests against NHS cuts in Brent.

She told the Times she found the latest cuts scary and feared CMH would be hit the worst.

She said: “What is happening in our NHS is devastating.

“It will end up with more privatisation so money will end up in private companies and patient care and services will deteriorate.

“It’s very scary that more jobs will go especially from CMH as it seems to be losing all its services one by one.”

A trust spokesman said: “The trust has had no formal discussions with Unite regarding any job cuts and has no specific numbers in mind with regards to any possible future reductions in its work force.”