Barrow hospital jobs at risk as trust wields spending axe
Last updated at 16:41, Tuesday, 12 March 2013
HOSPITAL bosses have released details of their cost-cutting plans – admitting job losses cannot be ruled out as they strive to save £30m by April 2014.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust also revealed that in 2011/12, each one per cent sickness absence cost around £1.17m. Current sickness level is 4.58 per cent.
Bosses at UHMBT, which runs Furness General Hospital, hope addressing this and other problems, such as patients staying in hospital too long, will help make major savings.
They will also work to challenge the fact that, while the best quality care is provided by permanent employees, UHMBT has spent an average £970,000 a month on temporary agency staff this financial year.
But the trust admitted that other savings may be harder to make.
UHMBT chairman, John Cowdall, said: “Although we cannot guarantee that there will not be job losses as a result of future changes, we will be working with staff representatives to minimise the impact and provide the appropriate support.
“Should it be necessary to enter into a formal staff consultation over potential job losses, then we can guarantee that a clear and proper consultation will take place with those staff affected.
“We would look to redeploy staff within the organisation wherever possible.”
UHMBT’s efficiency drive comes as a result of the added costs of making its services safe following several high-profile scandals, plus savings all NHS trusts are having to achieve nationally.
The trust has financial support from the county’s commissioners and the Department of Health, but this will end in April 2014.
Mr Cowdall said: “There have been rumours that the trust might run out of money and be unable to pay wages.
“The reason this isn’t happening is we are continuing to take action to prevent it.
“We are introducing stricter controls on costs such as recruitment restrictions and tightening spending limits on the purchase of services and supplies.
“This trust will not put finance before the safety of anyone who uses our hospitals.
“It is quite clear that doing nothing is not an option. If we all fail to ensure that services can be delivered within the money available to us, then the trust could become insolvent.
“This could mean that our future is taken out of our hands.”
UHMBT has identified eight “priority schemes” for major savings – patients’ length of stay, nursing numbers, medical staffing levels, the role of secretaries and other clerical and administrative workers, spend on agency staff, electricity bills and other estates services and the use of operating theatres.
Bosses want staff to work with them on more suggestions for savings.
First published at 16:09, Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
So the priorities are to get rid of frontline staff. Wake up Barrow. This is already happening. There will be no public consultation only as a sham exercise. It has already been decided.
UHMB have seen the impact of unsafe staffing levels, surely they should have learnt by now? The trust is severely understaffed as it is! These 'bosses' get paid more than the medical staff, it's ridiculous when you compare job responsibilities! Reduce their unjustifiably high wages.
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