A West Midlands hospital trust has pledged no doctors or nurses will be hit in job cuts in a battle to make £20 million savings.
Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s annual savings programme for next year includes plans for around 40 redundancies and the non-replacement of 280 posts.
The trust, which runs Winson Green’s City Hospital, Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, and Rowley Regis Community Hospital, said the cuts were due to pressure from the Government to limit NHS spending along with preparations for a new hospital in Smethwick.
Cost-cutting also played a part in the closure of the 12-bed Eliza Tinsley Ward at Rowley Regis last month and there are plans for a 24-bed rehabilitation McCarthy Ward at the same site to be shut with patients sent to Sandwell Hospital.
Trust spokesman Jessamy Kinghorn, said: “No ward nurses or doctors will be made redundant and the majority will be office-based, admin staff. We have a vacancy freeze in place.
“We have a lot of vacancies that no longer need replacing because we have improved the way we work, like better sickness management and reducing the length of stay of patients by half a day.
“The £20 million saving is about five per cent of our total budget and £3.5 million of that is a national requirement.
“We also have a planned staff reduction because the new hospital will be smaller and have less staff.
“NHS investment has grown fast in the past decade but that is going to slow down or stop and, as a result, we are going to have become more efficient while improving quality.
“It’s going to be difficult for both acute hospital trusts and Primary Care Trusts.”
NHS West Midlands said trusts were finding it “challenging” to make 30 per cent savings in the coming three years as ordered by the Department of Health. Trusts pay hospitals for the number of operations and treatments carried out and set limits as to what they will pay for each financial year.