Up to 600 jobs could be lost at Royal Bolton Hospital
UP TO 600 jobs could be lost at the Royal Bolton Hospital as bosses try to make £38 million savings.
If there is no improvement in Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s financial situation by December, its board of directors could face a major shake-up.
The revelations were announced to staff by Unison officials in 10 meetings.
In August, the Trust was put in “red risk” by health watchdog Monitor, following a damning financial report and the revelation £3.8 million was “unaccounted” for at the hospital.
Savings of up to £20 million need to be made this year alone and the figure could rise to £38 million in the next two years and £50 million in the next three.
The Trust is currently in deficit after it borrowed £8 million from the Department of Health to pay staff wages and keep the hospital going until the end of December.
John Murphy, joint chairman of Staff Side, which represents hospital employees, said: “We need to make £38 million worth of savings in the next two years. For every £20 million we save there is a loss of 300 posts.
“It means 550 to 600 posts that will be lost in the Trust in the next couple of years.”
He said the board and a turnaround team, which includes expert advisors from Deloitte, were under pressure to make financial improvements.
Mr Murphy added: “The bridging £8 million loan will ensure staff are paid until December. By which time the turnaround team should be starting to see some improvements.
“If there is no significant improvement, that has dire consequences for the board.”
Interim chairman of the Trust, David Wakefield, who was appointed by Monitor to replace the outgoing chairman, Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris, has stressed the savings would not affect patient safety.
Monitor took the unusual step of intervening in the Trust, the first time it has done so this financial year, and told hospital chiefs to appoint a Turnaround Director and external advisers to create a “robust recovery plan”.
The Trust has confirmed that some jobs would be cut but said the exact figure was not known and they would try to factor in people retiring or leaving their positions as much as possible.
Heather Edwards, head of communications at the Trust, said: “At this point we don’t know exactly how much savings will be needed or which posts we can let go.
“The precise amount of savings will be dependent on a number of factors, including the national operating framework going forward, which is due in November.”
She added Mr Wakefield would meet with Monitor before December to explain what action was being taken to bring financial improvements.
Mrs Edwards said: “If Monitor is not satisfied with this they can intervene further and take what action they deem appropriate. The Trust is working hard to develop a robust plan.”