Hospital jobs at risk in cost cuts

MORE than 60 staff could lose their jobs at the James Paget University Hospital, it emerged yesterday.

Managers have identified 64 posts as being at risk of redundancy, saying they must save �19.5m by 2014.

Most jobs affected are in administrative and support services roles, but one clinical role could potentially be affected.

In a statement, the Gorleston hospital said that although some of the staff affected would be redeployed into existing vacancies and everything had been done to avoid redundancies, some people would lose their jobs.

A formal 90-day consultation period is now under way.

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Kirk Lower, director of workforce at the hospital, said: 'This set of proposals has now been shared with staff representatives and meetings with the staff affected are ongoing. An extensive period of consultation has begun and every effort will be made to redeploy those staff whose jobs are at risk.'

'The trust has thought very carefully about the proposals and whilst there is never a good time to announce such changes, the financial realities facing us cannot be set aside.'

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Paul Smith, staff side secretary at the hospital, said the announcement was 'very disappointing'. He added: 'We are deeply concerned about the impact these proposals will have on staff throughout the trust and on the local population. We have been assured by the trust that they will engage with us in meaningful consultation and negotiations, and it's important that staff know that we will be doing our utmost to defend job losses, and also to protect those that inevitably will be facing loss of income and changes to their working lives.'

The hospital said the proposed redundancies would save it more than �1m a year. Other savings will be made through contractual changes. Some posts will be re-graded and other staff will see a reduction in their earnings.

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