A major NHS trust located in the Midlands has indicated that it will make redundancies in order to achieve economic stability.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust is to cut 450 jobs in a bid to make budget savings.
The trust currently employs 7,500 people in the Midlands region, but has indicated that the redundancies should ultimately be unsurprising to both staff and patients.
Health bosses in the trust have already indicated explicitly that the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust Needs to significantly reduce spending in order to avoid deficits in the future.
In order to deal with the staff wastage caused by the decision, the trust has announced a staff consultation beginning in July, which will enable the Midlands-based organisation to cut 250 full-time roles and another 200 temporary posts.
Job cuts will begin in the autumn, but the hierarchy of the trust has indicated that it is optimistic that it will be possible to redeploy any staff affected successfully.
The trust utilises its £430 million annual budget to run a range of services, with two hospitals in Birmingham and the West Midlands serving more than half a million people central to its operation.
Commenting on the staffing issue, Raffaela Goodby, the director of the trust, indicated that budgetary restraints had ultimately lead to this decision, and that the NHS trust effectively had its hands tied by current economic considerations.
“Like all NHS organisations, we need to deliver safe care within a budget. We have been explicit for several years with our staff, trade union partners, local taxpayers and NHS commissioners, that this will involve reducing the amount we spend on our pay costs, whilst increasing and protecting staff training spend. This has regularly been featured in the local media and is no surprise. This July, we will take the latest step in making those changes as we consult on the redeployment of staff, and changes to roles, across our organisation.”
Goodby also pointed out that the Birmingham-based trust has redeployed staff successfully already over the last two years, as part of its longer term economic plan.
However, a spokesman for the Unite union conveyed the dissatisfaction of the workers’ body with this latest staffing decision.
“At a time when the population is growing and the demand for new treatments rising, we strongly deplore the announcement that up to 450 jobs are under threat at the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.”
The spokesman also indicated the belief of Unite that other possible actions could have been taken, and indicated its hopes for the redeployment procedure.
“The funding crisis facing the NHS in Birmingham is not unique and many other trusts across England are feeling the malign effects of the continuing financial strait-jacket. Unite will work with the trust’s management at this challenging time to mitigate any job losses and to ensure that patient safety is not compromised in any way. We will continue to make the case for a properly funded health service free at the point of delivery for all those in need.”