Taxpayers foot £7.4m bill as nearly 200 workers leave hospital trust

Scunthorpe General Hospital.
Scunthorpe General Hospital.

THE Isle’s main hospital lost the most staff in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to redundancy last year.

Unions have raised fears for the future of the NHS as frontline jobs are axed by health chiefs, and more cash has to be found for exit deals.

Figures released this week have revealed that between 2011 and 2012, 174 workers left the North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust at a cost of £7.4 million.

This comes after bosses at the NHS Trust had to reassure the public last week in the face of statistics that revealed 332 more patients than expected died within its hospitals from April 2011 to March 2012.

A mortality indicator device had predicted 1,934 deaths in that period, and the actual figure was 2,266.

But the Trust insisted the figures were not relevant as work to reduce high death rates was ongoing and that the information used to collate the data was at least six to 18 months old.

Improvements being made to lift NLAG Trust’s standards will reap benefits, they said, but can not yet be seen in recorded statistics.

All together, 3,550 fewer people worked in the health service across the Yorkshire region last April than in the previous year and by July, three months later, another 200 nurses had left their posts.

Exit deals at NHS trusts that provide frontline care to Yorkshire people saw 870 staff leave at a cost of £28.9 million, which is almost double the number who left their jobs the year before, from 2010 to 2011.

As more impending cuts are announced, the health union Unison has warned that dedicated staff and patients are paying the price in a worsening situation, and blames the failures of senior managers and increased government pressure on NHS budgets.

It is are calling on trusts to explore all options fully before resorting to the blight of job losses.

In response, the Department of Health has said it is increasing funding for the NHS by £12.5 billion until 2015, but claims efficiency needs improving “to meet the pressures of an ageing population and the rising costs of drugs and treatments.”

The DoH adds that hospitals should seek ways to be more efficient without lowering the quality of care and insists that this is possible.

Costs of 45 staff exits in the Humber region were £2.3 million, and for Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber £1.5 million for 89 workers.

For 34 staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust the tally was £1.4 million.

The highest single award to an executive at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber was £326,000.

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Trust, along with having the most expensive staff exit programme in the region, also scrapped a great many empty posts in addition.