A hospital trust struggling to cope with an overcrowding crisis has revealed it needs to make £30 million of cuts.

The new chief executive of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, has told The Argus he cannot rule out job cuts as he tries to reach the government target for savings.

Matthew Kershaw, who officially takes over as chief executive on April 1, told staff: “These decisions will be tough as we have to deliver a safe, effective and quality service that is highly regarded by our patients whilst also ensuring we meet our financial and other performance objectives.

"Getting this balance right is not straightforward but it is essential and it will require some difficult decisions to be made.

“What I do not mean by this is slash and burn, but a set of changes that deliver on quality, performance and financial objectives.”

Speaking to The Argus last night, Mr Kershaw said he could not rule out the possibility of redundancies as part of a raft of measures needed to make the savings.

He said: “Staffing is a big part of running any hospital, somewhere around 70% of our costs, and it is unlikely staffing will not be affected in some way.”

Government cuts

Mr Kershaw said that as part of a list of about 30 areas where savings can be made, the trust hoped to save millions by turning off lights and computers when not in use.

Further savings could be made by trying to run the hospitals’ costly operating theatres more efficiently.

Government cuts will see hospital budgets across the nation cut by around 4%.

The Royal Sussex’s accident and emergency department has been struggling to cope with overcrowding for more than a month.

Hospital bosses told The Argus there were a number of factors contributing to the problem, including the fact that the hospital is the county’s major critical care centre.

In addition the city has high levels of drug and alcohol dependency and homelessness.

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