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Nurse posts threatened at landmark NHS trust

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A historic hospital trust in Manchester may have to cut 210 posts and two wards in a bid to make a £7m saving over the next financial year.

Trafford General Hospital, originally called Park Hospital, was the first to admit patients under the new NHS in 1948. But its trust admitted last week that it may have to reduce the number of beds in its hospitals and make staff cuts to stave off a forecasted financial deficit in April 2009.

Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust said that it was currently unclear exactly how many nursing posts would be affected and that no decision had yet been made on the actual wards to be closed. It hopes to offer anyone affected alternative work, including retraining if necessary, a trust spokesperson said.

Chief executive Steve Spoerry added: ‘Our challenge in 2008 is to improve the care we provide for the people of Trafford while also achieving a financial surplus.’

Meanwhile, in another cost-cutting move, staff at a hospital in Derby will find out this week whether plans to cut their nurses’ pay will go ahead. Representatives of Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust met last week with RCN and Unison officials in a bid to resolve a dispute on rebanding.

Unions have been in dispute with the trust since January over plans to reduce band 7 nursing posts to band 6, and band 6 posts to band 5. The trust claims that the measures are necessary to make savings of £55m.

New proposals are scheduled to be announced to members at a meeting this week although, as NT went to press, negotiators were unable to confirm whether or not the trust still planned to go ahead with rebanding.

Jane Slatcher, RCN regional officer for Derbyshire, said: ‘We have made some progress in the talks with the trust and ACAS [Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service], and the discussions are continuing.’

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