Hospitals face job cuts

Hospitals in the region face job cuts due to high inflation and temporary Covid funding coming to an end. A local NHS boss has warned many staff members in fixed term posts will likely not have their contracts renewed, due to a real-terms cut in government funding.

During the pandemic the government provided extra funding to NHS organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, which partly went to paying the salaries of staff on fixed term contracts. This funding will cease next month.

As well as the loss of Covid funding, high inflation means the NHS must pay increased prices for goods and services, shrinking the amount the health service can actually get for its money. Health bosses are now consulting affected workers about a staffing restructure.

Shane Devlin, chief executive of the ICB, said compulsory redundancies could be avoided: “A lot of people are not affected by the structural change and a lot of people will remain in the same job. However, we do have a number of people who are affected by the change. They are all individually aware of that change. After March 8, we will then hopefully be able to start making these changes.”

It’s unclear how many roles will be affected and in which departments or hospitals. This will depend on consultations with staff, and details should become clearer next month. Last month, Mr Devlin warned in a message to staff that the ICB will soon “feel a little smaller”.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporter