PCT staff in savings reminder

WORKERS at Suffolk's cash-strapped health trust are feeling the pinch today after bosses reinforced restrictions on their spending.Recruitment of staff is under the spotlight despite high numbers of people leaving the NHS due to fears over the future of their jobs.

WORKERS at Suffolk's cash-strapped health trust are feeling the pinch today after bosses reinforced restrictions on their spending.

Recruitment of staff is under the spotlight despite high numbers of people leaving the NHS due to fears over the future of their jobs.

New workers can only be recruited with the permission of trust chief executive Carole Taylor-Brown who will consider all requests on a weekly basis.

Any purchases more than £500 must be detailed in a form and approved by the director of finance before they go ahead and restrictions area also been placed on training funds with only pre-committed or essential courses allowed.

The former Suffolk East Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) introduced a number of measures at the beginning of the year to help stop overspending, but a letter was sent out to all staff of the new Suffolk PCT last week reminding them to tighten their belts.

The document, written by Julian Herbert, the trust's director of finance, states: “Despite significant financial recovery progress being made the new Suffolk PCT faces a major challenge in 06/07 to achieve the £16.7m savings required.

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“To that end, and as a result of potential changes in accountability, regrettably I need to reiterate/introduce some key short term financial controls.”

The letter outlines a number of key areas where spending must be slashed, including the recruitment of new staff and restrictions on capital spending to help slash debts of around £35m.

In the letter, Mr Herbert states: “I do apologise for the bureaucratic nature of these requirements but it is vital that financial control is maintained over the next few months.”

A PCT spokeswoman said: “The PCT is going through a period of change and felt it was good management to reiterate these procedures.”

Have you been affected by these money-saving measures? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk