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Whittington Health staff brace themselves for job losses

PUBLISHED: 13:13 03 July 2012

The Whittington Hospital

The Whittington Hospital

Archant

Staff at Whittington Hospital are bracing themselves for up to 120 job losses over the next year under a sweeping shake-up of services.

Bosses at Whittington Health, which runs the Highgate hospital, are set to spend £500,000 on consultants who will decide what jobs should go in a planned redesign of the appointment bookings system.

Hospital chiefs said the job losses would mainly fall on administrative posts in oncology, paediatrics and maternity departments, and insist it will improve patient experience.

Senior executives at the hospital, which employs 4,500 people, say they are embarking on the cost-cutting programme after the hospital scored low results in a national patients surveys.

Maria da Silva, chief operational officer, said: “A lot is not because staff don’t want to do their jobs.

“It’s a problem with administrative processes. So we decided we need help to take out inefficiencies.”

She added: “I can’t tell you how many redundancies we will have exactly.

“Redundancies cost money so we want to minimise this and get people working more efficiently.”

Shirley Franklin, chairman of Defend Whittington Hospital campaign group, criticised the move.

She said: “There is going to be poorer patient care because there are going to be fewer staff having to carry out the same amount of work.

“We carry out Whitt Watch, a campaign which collates patient feedback about the hospital’s performance, and nobody has complained about administrative services.”

A spokeswoman from trade union Unison, added: “The delays in appointments and treatments are not based on cuts rather than administrative processes.

“The data survey is far from accurate as there is no evidence that the data has been completed by patients.

“The money Whittington Health is wasting on consultants is enough to pay 20 administrative staff for a whole year.”

The hospital hopes that it will generate £1.9million of savings from the shake-up.

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