The scalpel and the scissors have found additional use. It is choppy weather at the hospital in Staffordshire, where nearly 1000 stand to lose their jobs. The Management of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent has informed staff that job cuts are on the anvil, mainly to survive the £17m debt.
75% of job cuts are mandatory redundancies that will affect all areas of the workforce. Nurses and midwives will comprise an approximate 370 of the laid off posts and vacancies will not be replenished.15 consultant positions are also going to hit the chopping board .
The move has triggered apprehension of a possible rippling affect on other such trusts that are facing a similar money crunch. The overall NHS deficit in England has doubled this year, due to expenditure on costly drugs and an increase in staff remuneration, that the government didn't appropriately cater to in its budget.
Dr Beverly Malone, of the Royal College of Nursing, said "We've seen a steady creep of these types of issues, from the freezing of posts to now we are actually talking about redundancies. This could happen at any of the hospitals and trusts that are having deficits and, as we know, there's a number of them that are in deficit."
The chief executive of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Anthony Sumara, said: "We hope once this most difficult part of the changes is completed the vast majority of staff who remain can begin to feel more secure and confident in the future.This is a very good hospital and I know it is only through the tremendous efforts of our staff that we have met our targets and made changes to our working practices that have so improved life for our patients, so I am deeply saddened we now find ourselves in this position."