Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (23rd January 2015) slammed the confirmation that nearly 40 jobs in the payroll department at the James Cook University Hospital have been rubber stamped for the axe by the South Tees Hospitals Trust which runs the hospital.
This follows an announcement just before Christmas that these jobs are being “outsourced” to a Lancashire Health Trust as part of a programme by the financially troubled Trust to save £90m over three years.
“It was recently confirmed that services provided by the trust’s payroll teams will move to East Lancashire Financial Services, part of Calderstone Partnership NHS Foundation Trust based in Darwen, near Blackburn.
“This is a tragedy and worse, I believe it could have been avoided. I know that the staff have worked incredibly hard to put in costed counter proposals delivering, savings similar to that of outsourcing and delivering year on year savings. However, I gather the Trust was concerned that these counter proposal would still ‘leave the risk in house’ whereas outsourcing would ‘transfer the risk’. This begs the question of why the Trust only seemed to want to deal with a potential partner on the other side of the country, knowing few, if any, of the staff would want to move there.
“UNISION, the trade union representing the staff expressed the position that it is more easily managed in house and keeps jobs within the local economy. Even if the Trust still needed the savings, why did they not consider a partnership with any of our local borough councils, all of whom run their own payroll sections? This could have given the savings and would have allowed staff to simply transfer to another local public service employer, keeping the jobs in the area and the wages benefiting the local economy.
“Again, this just shows how the Coalition Government’s programme of pushing for job cuts and privatisation in the NHS is still continuing apace.”