UP to 750 jobs could be lost at Rotherham Hospital as part of measures by health bosses to save £50million over the next four years.
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said it needed a ‘smaller hospital, with substantially fewer beds’, as well as a reduced workforce to meet budget cuts.
A report to the trust’s board by its chief executive said compulsory redundancies were inevitable and that ‘vital changes’ were needed to make the huge savings.
But the proposals have been met with opposition by union representatives and Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, who said he was ‘shocked’ by the scale of the potential job losses.
Staff facing redundancy include medical secretaries, nursing staff and other health workers, including physiotherapists.
Pam Johnson, the Unison trade union’s head of health for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “This is terrible news for patients and for the local community, who will lose vital health services.
“Local people and dedicated NHS staff are paying the price for failings on behalf of senior managers in Rotherham, and for the pressure the government has put on budgets.”
Ms Johnson added: “We are calling on the hospital to think again.”
Mr MacShane said: “I am shocked at the depth and viciousness of government cuts which could mean up to 750 jobs being lost at Rotherham hospital.
“I urge the hospital management to enter into full transparent negotiations with hospital staff to minimise any compulsory redundancies.”
Brian James, the foundation trust’s chief executive, said: “Our staff are our biggest asset, but also our biggest cost, and we are exploring how to best manage and substantially reduce our costs whilst ensuring we continue to provide quality healthcare and fulfil our commitment to the people of Rotherham to build a healthier future together.”
The trust is planning to offer staff voluntary redundancy and mutually agreed resignation schemes, while considering the option of compulsory redundancies.