Hospital staff hit by cuts

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HOSPITAL staff in Lancaster will be hit in the pocket by NHS cutbacks.

Reductions in sick pay and bonuses are part of a £15m package of savings planned for the financial year which begins in April.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, has said that job losses are inevitable because it will get less money for the services it delivers.

It has identified a host of proposed savings which it says could save jobs and is continuing to work on more than 80 ideas, some of which were suggested by staff.

Staff who go off sick for more than six months currently receive half pay plus statutory sick pay but in future the statutory sick pay could be included within their half pay.

Trust chief executive Tony Halsall said this would save £200,000, the equivalent of protecting eight front line jobs based on the cost of employing a band five staff nurse.

See the Lancaster Guardian (11-03-11) for full story.