Cambridgeshire

Cambridge hospital plans to axe 170 nursing jobs

A hospital in Cambridge is planning to axe 170 nursing jobs in a bid to find savings of up to £40m over the next three years.

A report on cutbacks at Addenbrooke's Hospital is to be discussed early next month and a copy of the report has been given to Cambridgeshire County Council.

Geoff Heathcock, chairman of the health and care scrutiny committee, said he was astonished at the scale of cuts.

His committee is to ask Addenbrooke's managers to explain their policy.

Mr Heathcock believes up to 500 jobs could be cut over the next financial year in a recruitment freeze.

'Apppalling' proposal

This would be brought about by "natural wastage" from staff turnover among the 7,000 employees, the report said.

Mr Heathcock said: "I'm astonished at the volume of people concerned and many of these have given a lifetime to the NHS and Cambridge hospitals.

"It is appalling that within weeks of a new government promising to protect frontline posts in the NHS this is announced. It doesn't get more frontline than nurses.

"I am not asking for special consideration as in the current financial difficulties the NHS has to take its share of cuts.

"The scrutiny committee will be calling in board members from Addenbrooke's in the next few weeks to explain why the cuts are necessary and what alternatives have been considered.

"Our aim is to ensure the safety and care of patients at Addenbrooke's are not compromised."

Cambridge University Hospitals Trust said: "We need to investigate new and more efficient ways of working as we face the financial challenges.

"That involves examining our salary bill, which makes up the bulk of our expenditure.

"Our recruitment freeze means that at the moment we are only filling vacancies which are needed to deliver clinical care."

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