Tunbridge Wells Hospital seeks up to 200 redundancies as trust tries to save £20MILLION a year
By kentsussex | Monday, September 24, 2012, 10:44
Up to 200 hospital staff at Tunbridge Wells' brand new hospital face losing their jobs as Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust tries to save £20million a year.
The trust has asked its 4,500 staff if they want to apply for redundancy, just a year after the new £225million 512-bed hospital in Pembury officially opened.
It said the cuts were unconnected with the cost of private finance initiative (PFI) repayments on the new hospital, which replaced the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells town centre.
Chief executive Glenn Douglas said they were part of savings across the NHS, and the job cuts would be made across the trust and not just in Tunbridge Wells.
He said: 'The NHS as a whole is facing £200bn cost savings over the next few years and and we have to provide our share of that. Even without PFI we would still be facing the same challenges.'
Staff have until 5 October to express an interest in redundancy.
Douglas added: 'We employ a significant number of temporary staff and also we have a turnover so within that I would see compulsory redundancies being a very, very small number.'
It comes as hospital bosses meet with Kent's health watchdog, Link, on Friday after plans for three new bus routes were scrapped.
Subsidised services to Maidstone, Crowborough and Borough Green were a condition of planning permission to build at Pembury but Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has now agreed they can be dropped.
"They (the trust) agreed to the condition because they wanted the planning permission," said Tonbridge resident and outpatient Jane Hideggar.
"The question is whether they should have agreed in the first place if they considered it unsustainable."
Mr Douglas said the hospital subsidised three bus services from Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Maidstone town centres, which would continue.
"You are never further than 10 minutes way from a connection to the new hospital so I think the system works really well," he said.