Job cuts scaled back at hospital

CHRIS BISHOP Fewer people than expected will be made redundant at in the latest round of job cuts the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Health chiefs feared up to 85 posts would have to go, as the hospital presses on with a financial recovery plan aimed at staving off an £11m deficit.

CHRIS BISHOP

Fewer people than expected will be made redundant at in the latest round of job cuts the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Health chiefs feared up to 85 posts would have to go, as the hospital presses on with a financial recovery plan aimed at staving off an £11m deficit.

But it emerged 29 people - the equivalent of 20 full-time posts - would be affected by the move.

Staff affected by the announcement are largely administration and clerical workers, who were told in June that their jobs were at risk.

The final number of redundancies was lower than the original estimate because some staff were able to reduce the hours they work, some have retired or left in the meantime and their posts have not been filled, and some job functions have been combined.

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Redundant employees have been told they can apply for any vacancies within the hospital and management expect that many of the 29 will be successfully redeployed.

Director of human resources Amanda Lyes said: “We have been working closely with the staff representatives to find ways of keeping the number of redundancies as low as possible.

“We are confident that many of the staff whose posts are being cut will want to apply for jobs in other parts of the hospital. In any event we are giving all our staff as much help, information and support as possible at this difficult time.”

Ron Glazebrook, from health union Unison, said: “One redundancy is too many but the financial position of the hospital trust is such that a reduction of staff costs has to be a key part of any financial recovery plan.

“Unison is grateful to have had the opportunity of working together with the hospital trust to reduce the original figure of anticipated redundancies down to this final level.”

The QEH has to 'break even' financially each year, and then set about clearing its £11m debt.

Under the current plan the hospital will achieve month-by-month break-even by October, and annual break-even by the end of the current financial year in March.