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Sussex NHS staff warned of job cuts to save £13.6m
2:50pm Tuesday 29th May 2012 in News
Thousands of NHS workers have been warned job cuts are among the drastic measures that may be needed if a trust does not get its spending under control.
In a message to staff, the finance director of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said tackling money issues was a matter of urgency.
The trust, which runs mental health and substance abuse services across Sussex, needs to save £13.6m this year as part of tough government savings.
However, in April the trust spent £450,000 more than it had budgeted for.
Finance director Sally Flint said: “We have resisted, up until this point, to take a slash-and-burn approach to making savings.
“We are not suggesting that we are adopting this approach.
“However, we must act as a matter of urgency to prevent further deterioration in our current financial position.
“If we continue on this projection we will find ourselves in serious difficulties.
“We will have no other option than to take drastic measures by reducing our staffing numbers in order to protect frontline services.”
Bosses have already decided to significantly cut down on using|temporary bank staff, is reviewing all vacancies and imposing tighter controls on all non-pay expenditure.
Ms Flint said: “We still have some way to go and we must get back on track.
“If we follow the road map set by these plans we will be in a position to protect jobs.”
A trust spokesman said: “We have made no secret of the need to achieve tough cost savings this year in order to protect frontline services.
“We are confident that we can achieve our target with the help of staff across the trust.
“At this early stage, it is important that we get back on track and the message from Sally Flint reminds all staff of this.”
The latest developments have alarmed the trust’s 4,500 workers, who are now facing increased uncertainty over their future.
Unison regional rep Caroline Fife said: “Trusts like the Sussex Partnership are being put in an impossible situation because they are basically being asked to do more work for less money.
“Our members are not only concerned about their own future in terms of job losses but they are also concerned about the impact such cuts will have on patient care.”