Hospital operator plans 137 job cuts

A private company which took over the running of Newmarket Hospital has proposed to cut 137 health jobs across the county.

Serco revealed its plans to axe 227 roles but create 90 new ones last week.

Serco took over the running of community healthcare from NHS Suffolk on October 1 in a three-year deal worth £140 million.

Subject to a 90-day staff consultation, staff in various departments at the Exning Road hospital could lose their jobs, as well as staff at hospitals in Felixstowe and Aldeburgh.

Paul Forden, managing director of clinical healthcare, said the planned changes would allow Serco to invest in technology and improve efficiency so clinicians could spend more time caring for patients.

He added: “Wherever possible, we would look to redeploy staff into these new roles. We would not be making any compulsory redundancies among frontline clinical staff and will do everything we can to minimise the number of non-clinical staff affected by the changes.”

The union Unison said it was “deeply worried” about the affect the staff cuts would have on the level of care.

Unison’s Tim Roberts said: “We warned at the time that the only way they would be able to deliver the contract would be by making drastic cuts and that’s exactly what they are now proposing.

“We fear that the true impact of these changes on service delivery will only become apparent once staff have left and it’s too late.”