Nurses jobs safe as Lister battles to cut cash deficit
NHS bosses at Lister Hospital are hoping to avoid massive nursing job cuts unlike other hospitals in England but have admitted they will need less staff overall. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is concerned about possible job and patient service cuts a
NHS bosses at Lister Hospital are hoping to avoid massive nursing job cuts unlike other hospitals in England but have admitted they will need less staff overall.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is concerned about possible job and patient service cuts across the country because of NHS deficits.
But East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust bosses hope they will not be forced to cut jobs. Instead, they will rely on retraining, redeployment and natural staff turnover.
Peter Gibson, spokesman for the Trust, said: "We hope no nursing staff need to be made redundant."
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He said the Trust has "plenty of vacancies to absorb" any posts which may be lost in the future.
The Trust, he said, was in a fortunate position because it had started its financial recovery plan and hasn't been forced to resort to make nurses redundant.
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Chief executive Nick Carver said the Trust had closed two wards in the last financial year - one at Lister and one at QEII - but no one had been made redundant, staff had been redeployed.
He said future projects, for example centralising its medical records department to the QEII, would mean less staff would be needed overall.
But he said redeployment would be used in these cases as well.
Mr Carver told The Comet that the Trust was £3.5m off its target deficit and will therefore have an accumulative deficit of £22.5m for the year 2005/6.
But the Trust had saved £7m - twice as much as in previous years.
Mr Carver said the Trust needed to be more efficient. Pharmacy robots costing £600,000, which can make up prescriptions without human intervention, will create savings of £640,000 a year by releasing pharmacy staff, and the outsourcing of letter typing would also save money.
The Trust hopes to reduce its "in year" deficit each year until 2008/9 when it is hoped the "in year" deficit would be zero and it could then concentrate on reducing the accumulative deficit - thought to be as much as £35.5m by 2008/9.