Mental health trust slashes jobs

A MENTAL health trust serving north Suffolk is to cut 40 jobs - including 25 nursing and clinical posts - in a bid to fill a £5million funding gap.The job cuts are part of a series of cost-cutting measures being undertaken by the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

A MENTAL health trust serving north Suffolk is to cut 40 jobs - including 25 nursing and clinical posts - in a bid to fill a £5million funding gap.

The job cuts are part of a series of cost-cutting measures being undertaken by the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

Finance bosses are axing 25 nursing and clinical posts, 10 clinical support staff and five non-clinical workers.

Although the job losses are less than originally predicted they will still come as a blow to both staff and patients.


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Last night the trust insisted it would try to minimise the impact of the cuts on services but admitted there would be consequences.

Trust spokesman Nicola Brown said: “Although we estimate that about 40 posts will be made redundant, it is too early to say where these will be geographically.

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“As an organisation, we have balanced our books - or better - for the last seven years. However, financial pressures elsewhere in the NHS have meant we are receiving significantly less funding this year.

“We will aim to minimise adverse effects on services although we have said all along that pulling £5m out of an already tightly-run mental health trust could not be done without some consequences.

“We have spent a great many years developing our services and it hurts to see them put them at risk.”

The trust employs 2,200 people across the two counties. The decision to cut jobs was taken by the trust board's finance committee.

Executive director Paul Thain said: “We should clarify that, if a whole service is identified for closure, its staff are not automatically made redundant.

“The posts within that service are disestablished and people within the posts are placed on the redevelopment register.”

Mr Thain said that those people would then have “preferential access” to any newly-vacant posts elsewhere in the trust.

“We hope to minimise compulsory redundancies in this way,” he said.

In line with employment law a formal consultation period will begin with staff whose posts are at risk.

The cuts are the latest in a long line of cost-saving measures across the cash-strapped NHS in the region.

Health bosses are set to close beds at Newmarket Hospital and cut jobs at West Suffolk while the Walnutree Hospital and St Clement's Community Hospital in Sudbury are also set to close.

Ipswich Hospital has cut beds and jobs while Hartismere Community Hospital in Eye and the Barlett Hospital in Felixstowe will close. Beds will also be cut at Aldeburgh Hospital.

Other decisions made by the trust's finance committee at its meeting this week included merging its telecommunications and IT support services and considering a pay and display car parking scheme for visitors to all of the trust's main sites.

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