Hospital spends millions on job losses

CASH-strapped Ipswich Hospital is expecting to spend nearly £3million on axing more than 350 jobs, it was revealed today.A Freedom of Information request forced the hospital to release figures which show that the cost of the massive job cuts and other money-saving measures is likely to be around £2.7m.

CASH-strapped Ipswich Hospital is expecting to spend nearly £3million on axing more than 350 jobs, it was revealed today.

A Freedom of Information request forced the hospital to release figures which show that the cost of the massive job cuts and other money-saving measures is likely to be around £2.7m.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital, said: “There are some costs in actually moving beds and wards but the biggest of these will be related to staff.

“There's an allocation made for any costs for redundancies resulting from our plan. We want to do everything we can to minimise the need for any compulsory redundancies.


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“Within the NHS there's a nationally agreed scale of redundancy payments. They are not set by the trust but they are what all trusts follow.”

Health chiefs have announced a series of cost-cutting measures in a bid to claw back a £20m debt in just a year.

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As well as shedding hundreds of jobs, around 70 beds and up to four operating theatres are also set to go under the plans.

The hospitals expects the job cuts to save them about £6.2m, with specialist nurses, administrative posts and a percentage of consultants' sessions all set to be reduced.

Ann Glover, of Unison, which represents many of the under-threat workers, sympathised with the plight of the hospital.

She said: “It's farcical to think that money is going to be paid to people to lose them from the NHS but I don't think Ipswich Hospital has anywhere to go.

“I think there has been financial mismanagement but, equally, having to pay back their historical deficit in next to no time at all has compounded the problem. It's a national problem.”

Ms Rowsell said the hospital was hoping to be back on financial track by November.

She said: “At the moment we are spending more money than we've got but by November we hope that we will be spending only as much money as we've got.

“When we get into balance, it should mean that next year, 2007/08, we should be able to pay back our accumulated debt.”

She said the £2.7m provision for “transition costs” had been accounted for elsewhere within the budget but was not included in the £20m of savings needing to be made.

See page 28 to find out how the region's health trusts fared in the annual NHS ratings.

Closure of 71 beds - £2.7m

Close up to 4 theatres - £700,000

Close the North End of the Site - £1.7m

Reduce administrative posts (including medical secretaries) - £2.6m

Reduce specialist nurse posts - £1.3m

Reduce the number of consultant sessions - £2.3m

Medicines management schemes - £1.1m

Private patient and other income - £1.1m

Procurement savings - £1.1m

Non-pay income (savings from various areas, including reduction in transport costs, hospitality and meetings off-site, using un-branded drugs) - £6.4m

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