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Health trust say staff numbers are likely to be reduced without compromising patient safety
Staff numbers at Whipps Cross University Hospital are set to be cut and some services moved away under plans to tackle a £78million debt.
But operator Barts Health insist safety and the quality of care will not be affected at the Leytonstone hospital.
The trust previously said there were no planned cuts to services and jobs to tackle the debt created by Private Finance Initiatives at its other hospitals.
Speaking at a meeting of the Public Health and Health Delivery Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee last night, a trust representative said costly agency staff will be reduced to save money.
But Norma Dudley, of the We are Waltham Forest Saving our NHS campaign, said she fears the quality of care will suffer.
“Barts think ‘if we just motivate everybody a bit more and say it’s culture then it’ll just change’, but the nuts and bolts are having enough well-trained staff,” she said.
The 62-year-old said patients would suffer if basic requirements, such as access to adequate equipment and cleanliness, were not met.
“It’s very convenient for an organisation to blame individual practitioners rather than looking at the context, which is one of savings and making cuts,” she added.
A Barts spokeswoman said today that all areas of expenditure were being reviewed and savings would come from across the board.
She added they would only be signed off when it was clearly demonstrated that they will not affect patient’s quality of care.
The spokeswoman said Barts Health, which is the largest hospitals trust in the country, has a higher staff to patient ratio than other trusts of a similar size, and that this could be reduced safely without cutting or removing services.
“Clinical care and patient safety is the priority at all times and we stress that there will be no reduction in staffing levels that compromises either,” she added.
Maternity and A&E services at Whipps will not be affected in the current services review.
Barts Health runs five other hospitals across east London.
None of its hospitals were announced as being among those placed in special measures today.
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