1. ITV Report

1,400 jobs at risk at hospital trust in West Midlands

The trust says it will consult with staff over cuts Photo: ITV News Central

1,400 jobs are at risk at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

In a weekly bulletin to staff, the trust said:

Where there is scope to change we now need to press ahead and do so.

In effect, we will address head on how we will improve outcomes for more patients, over the next five years (by 2020), with around 1400 fewer posts -– and cut infection, improve mortality, better connect the care of people with long term conditions.

– Trust weekly staff bulletin

The trust is looking to identify £125million worth of 'efficiencies' by 2020.

The bulk of this will be made by cutting back on agency and temporary workers, and it is believed large-scale redundancies can be avoided.

Over the next three months, we will continue to review our workforce to identify where we can make changes and what we can learn from other NHS organisations.

This period will include the necessary statutory consultation with staff and trade unions as we alter staffing levels in a minority of teams.

We spend GBP25 million each year on temporary staff. We have sickness rates of over four per cent. One in ten employees changes role each year.

These three things provide an opportunity to reduce costs without large scale redundancies and to improve the quality of care that we provide by creating stable teams.

– Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust statement

Centres run by the trust includes:

  • City Hospital in Birmingham
  • West Bromwich’s Sandwell General
  • Rowley Regis Community Hospital
  • Birmingham Treatment Centre
  • Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre

And it is currently developing a new ‘super-hospital, the Midland Metropolitan, which will serve 530,000 people living in the area. It is due to open in 2018.

On that, the trust said in a statement:

The recent confirmation of the business case approval for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital is not a factor in our financial challenges over the next two or three years. In fact, the creation of one acute hospital and the opportunity to sell some surplus land represent an opportunity for us to both drive up quality and reduce cost safely.

– Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust statement
1,400 jobs are at risk Credit: ITV News Central

A whistleblower has spoken of concerns for the effect of the cuts on patients:

Morale is at rock bottom. Our concern is for patients and the ancillary services which rely on the trust. This is something the public should know about. We were informed the process will be done gradually, but there is real concern among staff.

– Trust whistleblower