BOSSES at Queen Alexandra Hospital have said patient care will not suffer despite potential plans to axe up to 588 jobs.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted hundreds of jobs could go at the Cosham hospital this year But the trust says of these posts, 141 are permanent staff and 447 are temporary workers – and no posts will be released if they pose a risk to patient care.
Ursula Ward , the chief executive of the hospital trust, said: ‘We have to make savings of £30.5m this financial year so, several months ago, we were working out what contribution of the savings plan would come from staff reduction.
‘The 588 is the figure that was drawn up but the vast majority is temporary staff.
‘We have been using temporary staff more recently because of the potential shift of work out of the hospital into the community. Until we’ve got more certainty on that we’ve chosen to employ temporary workforce in some areas.
‘In the future when commissioners decide to refer less patients, then we can start to take out some of the temporary workforce.
‘We also have a redundancy programme underway at the moment, which is for up to 99 of the 141 substantive posts. We expect the remaining, after the 99, to come from natural wastage and staff turnover.
‘Every single post will be risk assessed and if we think there’s any risk to patient care or services, we will no do it.’
But she added: ‘The more cost improvements we can deliver elsewhere, the more pressure it takes off of what we have to take out of the workforce.’