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East Sussex hospital staff offered voluntary resignation scheme
Hospital staff are being asked to consider opting for voluntary resignation as bosses battle to save millions of pounds.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has started a programme called the Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS).
The trust, which runs Eastbourne District General Hospital and The Conquest in Hastings, has spent the last few months trying to save £10 million to help it keep on financial track.
It is planning to the end the financial year with a deficit of just under £19 million, but has been struggling to make the savings.
This is partly down to a high demand and patients spending longer in hospital than expected.
In a message to staff, chief executive Darren Grayson said: “MARS is a scheme under which an individual employee, in agreement with the trust as their employer, chooses to leave employment in return for a severance payment.
“MARS is not a redundancy or a voluntary redundancy as under MARS, managers may appoint to the vacancy.”
The scheme is being offered to selected groups of workers, including administrative and clerical staff, managerial staff and senior clinical workers.
It does not include front line medical workers.
The trust has taken several steps to reducing spending, which have including closing a ward at Eastbourne and cutting back on using expensive agency staff.
It has also been asking staff to come up with other money-saving measures, which have included switching off lights and computers at night and making sure taps are not dripping.
Other ideas put forward have included cutting down on printing, keeping doors and windows closed while the heating is on and not to put general rubbish in clinical waste bags.
Workers have also been asked to use technology like video conferencing, so people do not have to travel between the trust’s various sites.
A spokesman for Unison said: “Obviously this is something we are keeping a close eye on and will do what we can to support any of our members.”
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