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NHS trust backs plans to axe jobs

Source PA News

Updated on 24 July 2007

An NHS trust has approved plans to axe 600 jobs - a third of its workforce - in a bid to cut millions of pounds from its budget.

Managers at the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust announced the plans last Wednesday.

Union officials warned the cuts would have a "devastating" impact on patient care at the trust's main hospital in Scarborough and other sites in Whitby, Malton and Bridlington.

But at a board meeting the trust approved a financial strategy that it says will protect the long-term provision of services.

The trust's chief executive, Iain McInnes, said the trust needed to work "more efficiently, with fewer positions".

He said: "We need to make serious changes to our hospital trust to make sure we are using taxpayers' money better and to reshape our workforce to reflect future patient demand.

"These changes won't be easy but once they are implemented we will be a stronger, leaner and more efficient organisation employing over 1,500 NHS staff.

"As far as possible we will do this by reducing the amount we spend on temporary staff and through natural turnover and redeployment. Once these alternatives have been examined we will look at early retirements, only then will we start to look at voluntary redundancies, with compulsory redundancies being considered only as a very last resort."

The trust said it ended the last financial year with a deficit of over £7 million and a cumulative debt of £20 million.

However, senior consultants at the hospital branded the plans "ill considered" and warned its effects would be disastrous for patients and the wider community. A letter to the Scarborough Evening News, signed by 10 senior staff members, said Scarborough General Hospital would be reduced to "a glorified cottage hospital".

These news feeds are provided by an independent third party and Channel 4 is not responsible or liable to you for the same.

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