200 more jobs go at hospitals

STAFF at Wigan’s hospital trust are set to be offered voluntary redundancy with 200 jobs to be axed this year.

Bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust have confirmed it must save £13.8m before April in ongoing Government cutbacks.

Hospital chiefs today said they hoped most of the reduction in workforce would be met through the natural turnover of staff.

But the Trust admitted it would be offering workers a mutually agreed severance scheme during June, in an effort to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

A spokesman for WWL NHS Foundation Trust said: “WWL has plans in development to achieve the £13.8m in 2011/12, which combines service developments, redesign and other efficiency measures across all areas of the Trust.

“The efficiency and productivity plans anticipate a workforce reduction of approximately 200 whole time positions.

“The natural turnover of staff at WWL for 2010/11 (for example, retirements and people changing employer) was 7.44 per cent with 322 people leaving.”

In January, hospital bosses stated more than 350 Wigan hospital staff face the axe over the next three years.

WWL NHS Foundation Trust confirmed plans to reduce staff numbers by 364, in response to the financial challenges being faced nationally by the NHS.

But there are fears this figure may increase after it was revealed 200 posts will go in this year alone.

WWL NHS Trust (WWL) has revealed it failed to achieve target savings of £13.6m last year, after making £12.6m cuts during 2010/11.

Despite facing huge budget reductions again this year, hospital bosses say their financial plan includes continued capital investment of £16m in 2011/12.

Meanwhile, Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Community Healthcare (ALWCH) Trust has had almost eight per cent of is budget slashed this year.

The Trust says there are no plans for compulsory redundancies and is working on its cost-cutting programme.

A spokesman for ALWCH NHS Trust said: “The budget allocation for the Wigan division of the trust in the financial year 2011/12 is £48.5m and the savings that are required to be made this year are £3.8m, equating to 7.8 per cent of the total budget. We are currently developing schemes to deliver the required costs savings and there are no formal plans for compulsory redundancies in the current financial year.

“During the year 2010/11 30 staff left the organisation under the terms of the NHS Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme.”