New job cuts faced by Scunthorpe hospital workers - 126 having already gone
STAFF at Scunthorpe General Hospital are facing the threat of compulsory redundancy – despite 126 jobs having been lost at the site in the past three years.
In 2009 the hospital implemented a programme of voluntary redunancies in a bid to cut costs.
But while hospital chiefs face making more savings, the Telegraph understands that the voluntary redundancy process has been exhausted.
Dr Neil Pease, director of organisational development and workforce at NHS North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The organisation is looking at many ways to maintain the quality of services while operating efficiently. As part of a host of efficiency measures, redundancies have and will be considered. We have focused on voluntary redundancies for the past few years. Work is now ongoing to ensure the services we provide are as cost effective as possible, in line with the national requirements and, as a result of this work, there may be compulsory redundancies in the future."
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In 2009 around 2,000 employees were sent letters asking them to consider their options after the trust revealed it needed to make savings of £45m.
Most redundancies so far have been in senior posts.
But the Telegraph understands that now staff in all areas could be at risk, although there is no recruitment freeze in place.
Dr Pease said: "These moves have been prompted by the national requirement to make significant efficiency savings across the NHS and the continued need to deliver high quality, safe services while maintaining financial security. Patient safety and the quality of our services are our priority.
"All applications for voluntary redundancy are carefully considered to ensure they do not impact on patient services and that they deliver value for money.
"The majority of savings have been in managerial and support services, not frontline services.
"We aim to ensure that staffing changes either maintain or improve the quality of services we provide, while achieving savings."
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Scunthorpe General Hospital, has an annual budget of £275 million.
The Government is asking hospitals across the country to save a total of £20bn by 2014.
The trust has yet to reveal how much money it still has to save as part of its cuts programme.