- Conservative election poster 2010
A recent news article about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Hundreds of jobs are to be axed by health bosses over the next five years.
NHS trusts across the county are battling to save millions of pounds while facing one of the biggest shake-ups in the organisation’s history.
Managers say they are unable to rule out redundancies although they are hoping to make savings by cutting back on expensive agency staff and not filling vacant posts.
Unions believe the cuts are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Sussex Community NHS Trust has revealed it wants to reduce its staff numbers by 10% – the equivalent of about 430 positions, by 2015.
The trust runs specialist community and rehabilitation services for adults and children across Brighton and Hove and West Sussex.
Its work covers district nurses, podiatrists, nurses specialising in skin problems like eczema and support for stroke patients.
The losses could affect different parts of the trust but it is hoped they will be covered through not filling vacancies, retirements, staff moving on to other jobs and cutting back on agency and staff spending.
The changes are down to the way the trust plans to provide services in the future while it tackles the same financial pressures as the rest of the NHS.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Worthing Hospital, Southlands in Shoreham and St Richard’s in Chichester, is also planning to cut the amount it spends on staff this year by the equivalent of 128 posts.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex in Brighton and the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, maintains it has no plans to reduce positions, despite having to save £21 million this year.
The hospital trust has called in an independent financial expert at a cost of £143,000 in an effort to get its spending under control.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest in St Leonards, is working with accountants Ernst and Young to try to clear a £6 million deficit and has not ruled out the possibility of job losses in the future.
More than 170 jobs have already been lost at the county’s primary care trusts ahead of their planned axing in two years time as part of the government’s shake up of the NHS.