Ipswich Hospital to axe 357 jobs

HOSPITAL bosses today approved plans to axe jobs, beds and theatres and warned there will be more to come.Members of Ipswich Hospital's board unanimously approved a raft of proposals designed to help the debt-ridden organisation get back in to balance, including the loss of 357 jobs, 71 beds and up to four operating theatres.

HOSPITAL bosses today approved plans to axe jobs, beds and theatres and warned there will be more to come.

Members of Ipswich Hospital's board unanimously approved a raft of proposals designed to help the debt-ridden organisation get back in to balance, including the loss of 357 jobs, 71 beds and up to four operating theatres.

The news was a devastating blow to staff who have been waiting for weeks to find out about their future, and they were warned that the cuts were only the beginning of the hospital's plans for change.

Andrew Reed, the hospital's chief executive, said: “This plan is not the end of the exercise.


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“It has been a very intensive and very in-depth process but that work is continuing.”

The hospital has debts of more than £24m to pay back, including £16.7m from last year alone.

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Mr Reed said: “The proposals will cause anxiety, are causing anxiety and are not without significant risk.”

But he added it was essential that actions were taken to bring the hospital's spending under control.

He said: “We have to recognise that these proposals are challenging but I think they reflect the need for this trust to perform to the highest levels, and the need to address its financial problems in a very serious and very quick way.”

It emerged during the meeting that the hospital is still overspending and will continue to do so until the actions come in to force.

In total 357 jobs will go, although Mr Reed said he did not anticipate that many of these would be compulsory redundancies.

Other measures include closing wards for the elderly in the north end of the site and selling buildings off, reducing consultants' hours and closing up to four operating theatres.

Mike Brookes, chairman of the board, said: “We are faced with an extremely serious situation but we are going to survive and more than that we are going to turn this hospital in to something that we can be proud of, both financially and clinically, for the future.

“This is not an end, this is the beginning of where we need to get to.”

The plans will now begin to be implemented but all staff who will be affected will undergo a consultation period of at least 90 days.

Are you going to be affected by the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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