NHS South West Essex has announced a formal 90 day consultation with staff and trade unions on its proposals to make around 224 non-clinical staff redundant in both the comissioning and community services parts of the organisation.
Staff had been told verbally of the proposals in briefing sessions hosted by the chief executive and senior management team over the last week. Staff were formally notified of the consultation yesterday (11 October 2010).
NHS South West Essex first announced a redundancy programme in early September. Since then the Board has approved the primary care trust’s broader turnaround plan to address its £43m deficit. The total turnaround plan seeks to make savings totalling £52m, which includes a contingency of £8m set aside to cover any projecs that do not make all of the anticipated savings.
The initial proposal concerned a redundancy programme in the commissioning arm of the primary care trust. Following the Board’s approval of the turnaround plan, which agreed to reduce the primary care trust’s annual contract with NHS South West Essex Community Services by £2.5m, it has been necessary to also consider reducing management costs in this part of the organisation.
Andrew Pike, chief executive of NHS South West Essex, says: “These redundancies are highly regrettable and are a direct consequence of our overspend. We now need to bring the workfroce down to a more sustainable position.”
Luella Dixon, HR project director, who is supporting the redundancy process at NHS South West Essex says: “In the current economic environment we can no longer afford the level of staffing that we currently have and so difficult decisions are having to be made.
“We aim to be open and fair and keep our staff informed throughout this process. These changes will not impact on patient care. Staff who could potentially be at risk, and involved in the consultation, are in non-clinical roles.”
NHS South West Essex is committed to supporting staff through these difficult changes and a 90 day consultation process has been agreed with the unions.