Healthcare Trust outlines �5.3m cuts

Savings will be made without compromising care, say health bosses

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust has outlined �5.3million of local cuts for the 2011/12 financial year.

The Trust has also set a target of �3.6m of “efficiency savings” for its recently acquired community services across East and Mid Devon.

It said that it would save the money by improving productivity and efficiency while maintaining quality and safety and ensuring high standards of care.

The Trust said it had no plans to reduce bed numbers and would work to achieve any staffing reductions through natural turnover.

“At present it is likely we will see increased staffing in the community services going forwards,” said communications manager Andrew Conibear.

“The Trust has a track record of managing change without losing jobs, and if reductions in staffing levels are required as we change the way we work, we will always aim to achieve them through natural turnover.

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“We have recently nearly doubled the size of the Trust with the integration of the Eastern and Mid Devon Community Services. Where any change is necessary, we always seek to use and develop existing staff.”

In total, hospitals in Devon will need to find �70million in savings from their budgets for the current year as part of a national plan to save up to �20billion in the NHS over the next four years.

“Like all NHS Trusts nationally, over the next four years we are playing our part in achieving the �15-20bn in efficiency savings,” said Mr Conibear.

“Our aim is to make these efficiency savings without any detrimental effect on the quality of care we provide.

“To help achieve this, we have made a number of investments in the delivery of our services. For example, we have recently improved and enlarged our day surgery unit from 14 to 20 beds which will increase capacity for patients to be treated as day case rather than being admitted for an overnight stay.

“This is efficient use of NHS resources, and good for patient care. We are also currently investing in integrating our women’s and children’s services together to deliver improved patient care along with efficiencies.”

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