Hospital could cut 105 jobs

IPSWICH Hospital today pledged to provide 21st century health care for patients despite announcing it is likely to axe 105 posts.In just two years it will mean the hospital will have lost more than 10per cent of its staff as part of attempts to curb crippling debts and the need to save £16million.

IPSWICH Hospital today pledged to provide 21st century health care for patients despite announcing it is likely to axe 105 posts.

In just two years it will mean the hospital will have lost more than 10per cent of its staff as part of attempts to curb crippling debts and the need to save £16million.

However, in spite of admitting it is almost certain to shed more than 100 jobs, a spokeswoman for the Trust today said it was unable to say which areas were likely to be trimmed.

Jan Rowsell said: “The breakdown is not something we would be able to give. We need to work very closely with staff. There are proposals which will go to the trust board (tomorrow). If the board agree, the next stage is to consult very fully with staff, their representatives and unions to make sure everything we do is very carefully thought through.”

The specific number of posts under threat emerged after The Evening Star published the losses could be in the hundreds following a conversation with the Trust yesterday morning. Later in the day, as confusion put the numbers anywhere between there and 50, the Trust issued a press release to clarify the exact number of positions likely to be shed was 105, but stressed it was talking about posts not people, as some are currently unoccupied.

The hospital has stressed the new £26m Garrett Anderson critical care unit was never considered among a raft of money saving schemes aimed at saving £16million by the end of the financial year. The debts have continued to spiral from the existing debt of 4.7m added to a potential overspend of £5m in 2005/06.

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Ms Rowsell said: “It's not just about finances. It's about how we can improve what we do.

“The Garrett Anderson is hugely important to the hospital and we believe hugely important to local people because it will help us transform health care in years to come.

“Delaying the Garrett Anderson has never been an option for us. It's vitally needed and will mean we can provide 21st Century health care.”

As part of a raft of money saving measures tomorrow's board meeting will also consider are looking at charging professionals for help and advice providing new clinical income, shopping round to buy the drugs it need more cheaply, reconfiguring the wards and increasing staff car park charges.

In addition the hospital estimates better use of theatres and reducing sickness levels among staff will help it reduce expenditure by nearly 10 per cent of its current £174m.

The hospital's chief executive Andrew Reed said: “The Trust faces a year in which the scale of financial challenge will dominate the agenda. However, it is critical to place this in the context of the core job to be done, to maintain and improve quality of services provided to patients.

“We need to find £16 million of savings to achieve break-even in 2006/07. Managers across the Trust have been developing savings schemes and to date 230 individual schemes totalling £13 million have been identified so we have further work to do.”

Ipswich Hospital presently has 2,372 posts.

Elsewhere in the county, West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and James Paget in Gorleston have both axed jobs already.

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