Nearly 2,000 NHS posts are now believed to have been earmarked to disappear in London, following further revelations of cost-cutting plans last week.
Unions claimed 500 posts would go at St George’s Healthcare Trust in south London as part of a £55m savings plan announced by the trust, while 486 are set to be lost at Kingston Hospital Trust.
This adds to the 635 posts – including 258 nursing positions – to be shed by Barts and The London Trust, 55 at King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust and 250 at Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust.
Unison said it had been told by insiders at St George’s that 500 posts, including those of nurses and consultants, would go from a headcount of around 2,500 at the south London trust and three wards would be shut.Nursing Times was told nursing staff were in tears at the trust after hearing the news.
A trust spokeswoman said she could not confirm how many frontline nursing posts would be lost among the total identified by Unison, but that the trust “hopes to avoid” compulsory redundancies.
She said: “We have been open with staff and unions about the need to achieve £55m savings during 2011-12.
“We cannot speculate at this stage on the exact number, or nature, of posts that will need to go.”
She added: “Our main focus is to reduce our temporary staffing bill, which is currently £30m per year, and we are also reviewing non-clinical services.”
Jane Pilgrim, Unison nursing representative at St Georges Hospital, said: “We were told by the government that there would be no cuts in frontline posts but in reality the NHS is witnessing swingeing cuts to frontline services every day.”
Meanwhile, Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust aims to see nearly 500 posts deleted by 2015-16. Productivity plans would see 22 less consultants, 214 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors, 55 fewer “scientific therapeutic and technical” staff and a reduction of 140 posts listed as “non-clinical”.