Plans to make dramatic cuts to hospitals in Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust could see bed numbers reduced, nurses’ accommodation sold and staff laid-off.
A leaked report reveals plans by health bosses to make £13.45 million worth of cuts by March and a further £20 million the following year and a further £19 million by 2016.
The report, prepared by the Trust’s director of operations Mags Barnaby, outlines ten schemes which it states ‘may impact quality or performance’ and have an ‘adverse impact on staff morale.’
The proposals - which are in addition to cuts proposed as part of the Trust’s Strategic Review -
call for a reduction of 110 beds across both hospitals - 66 of which could be cut by October.
It also makes recommendations to ‘explore opportunities for private patient income’ - proposals vehemently denied when put to the Trust less than a fortnight ago.
The report outlines plans to lay-off ‘non-critical’ members of staff including those in administrative and non-clinical roles and make changes to pay and condition for nurses and therapists including cuts to sickness pay and Sunday pay.
The report also recommends that a number of properties owned by the Trust are sold - including accommodation for nurses.
Mags Barnaby, director of operations at the Trust said: “We are working with our staff and union partners to deliver a balanced plan for the future which ensures safe, high quality care for our patients within the funding available.
“The plan focuses on those things that we can do to improve efficiency and ensure our resources are focussed on frontline patient care.
“The proposal to reduce bed numbers is because we know that there are instances where patients wait unnecessarily for their care to be progressed and are in hospital for longer than they need to be. We are working to address these delays and reduce the length of time patients need to stay in hospital which will release bed capacity.
“The plan also includes looking at how we can build on some small successes we have had around IVF services to bring more income into the Trust.”
Labour MP for Halifax Linda Riordan responded with fury after learning of the proposals..
She said: “These are disgraceful proposals, which will rip apart our local health services and pave the way for privatisation.
“Local health bosses are savagely doing the Government’s dirty work. And it is patients and staff who will be hit hardest by these crippling cuts. I fear there is a wider agenda here and that is to close Calderdale Royal Hospital.
“There will be outrage across Halifax and Calderdale at these savage cuts. We now need answers as their secret plans for cuts, closures and privatisation have now been fully exposed in this devastating document.”