Job cuts will not hit patient care – pledge

THE man charged with over-seeing Suffolk’s re-vamped mental health service says patient care will not be affected by job cuts.

It was announced last year that Suffolk Mental Health Trust would merge with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trusts with the loss of around 80 jobs.

Aidan Thomas, who started his job as the body’s chief executive, said on Monday that he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

He said: “I’m absolutely committed to taking the trust onwards and look forward to working with different partnerships in doing so.

“It will be a challenging time – we have to make savings in the region of five million pounds in four years.

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“The job losses that are made will not affect patient care – the number of nurses, doctors and therapists will not be cut back.

“Our aim is to give the people of Suffolk a first rate service and we’re in a great position to achieve that.”

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The trust currently employs 2,200 people and has 60 sites across Suffolk.

This summer the trust will move into new state-of-the-art facilities at Ipswich Hospital and leave its current site at St Clement’s Hospital in the town.

Mr Thomas, who is 51, added: “I would say that the facilities there will be some of the best in the country.

“This will be a really positive move and I have every faith in the staff we have here of making it work.”

The Trust is still waiting for official confirmation of the merger but it is expected that the NHS regulatory body Monitor will approve it later this year.

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