£32 million cuts planned at NW London NHS – 400 jobs threatened

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The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust yesterday confirmed that it is looking to cut £32 million (ten per cent) from its budget over the next 12 months and cannot rule out significant job cuts.

The Trust employs 4,200 staff and has a budget of £330 million.

Campaigners calculate that up to 400 jobs could be at risk as the Trust looks to slash its budget by nearly ten per cent by March 2010.

North West London Hospitals Trust provides services for 500,000 people in Brent and Harrow with main locations at Central Middlesex and Northwick Park Hospitals.

A Trust statement said it ‘has started discussions with staff about the requirement to reduce expenditure by £32 million in the next financial year’.

It added: ‘The Trust is planning to make some of the savings by looking at the way it provides its services and finding more efficient ways of treating patients.’

It warned: ‘As pay accounts for a large proportion of the Trust’s costs we will be looking at making some changes to our workforce.’

Trust spokeswoman Fiona Wise said: ‘Even with the above in place we cannot rule out reductions in the number of posts but specific details (where and how many) have not been decided as yet and are still subject to discussions with our staff.’

She claimed: ‘Any redundancies would be considerably less than 400 as we will be looking at redeployment and other opportunities.’

Hillingdon Hospital Unison shop steward Malkiat Bilku said yesterday: ‘Our union has to do everything to defend our jobs. We have to find out what is happening and make sure every job is safe and every service is protected.

‘Jobs must be defended by our union Unison. Also Unison has to defend our pay and working conditions, as well as the services that local people rely on.

‘We will take action to defend our jobs and the NHS.

‘We ask our MP to do everything to support our hospital and its services for the patients.’

Geoff Martin, Head of Campaigns at pressure group Health Emergency, said: ‘While front line health jobs are in the firing line NHS Chief Executives have boosted their pay by 9.5 per cent in the past year.’