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Anger as merged health trust starts cutting nursing jobs in restructuring

PUBLISHED: 17:52 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:57 12 August 2010

A NEWLY-merged hospital trust has started culling clinical jobs as well as a wave of administration posts.

A NEWLY-merged hospital trust has started culling clinical jobs as well as a wave of administration posts.

Bosses at South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLTH) are keeping tight-lipped about which posts are set to go but staff have told the Times that matron posts are under threat.

A nurse at the Princess Royal Hospital in Farnborough (PRUH), who wanted to remain anonymous, said matrons at the Bromley hospital are having to re-apply for their jobs.

They said: "There are 15 matrons and only 11 posts.

"Matrons are getting really annoyed because they are cutting these jobs and it just means there is going to be less

specialist staff."

The Trust, came into being on April 1 last year, in a bid to save money.

Already, the A&E at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup (QMS) has closed, despite widespread opposition from

residents and politicians.

A spokesperson for the SLHT refused to say which staff groups are affected but provided the following statement: "There will be a limited number of redundancies as we continue a restructuring following the merger of the three hospitals.

"This is a painful but necessary process for a trust with very significant debt problems. Staff groups who are affected will go through a consultation period where issues will be discussed.

"Some of these consultations are already taking place. At all times, patient safety is our absolute priority.

"However, in many clinical areas we will actually be recruiting more permanent members of staff to reduce our reliance on expensive agency staff and provide more stable teams, to further improve patient care."

Even before the merger, in May 2008, the three hospitals, QMS, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich (QEH) and the PRUH, were making cuts as well as merging jobs.

QMS - the only non-PFI hospital from the trio transferred approximately 14 financial jobs to NHS Shared Business Services - a joint organisation between the Department of Health and private company Xansa.

The Bromley trust entered into one of the biggest PFI deals in England and Wales when it signed a contract for £155million for the PRUH.

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