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Jobs axe hangs over Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro

Hundreds of highly paid jobs could be lost at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) as it sets out a plan for the future.

More than 770 jobs could be cut over the next five years as part of an efficiency drive, as highlighted in a report to the trust’s board, due to be discussed this week.

The report suggests a number of cost-saving measures, including cutting as many as 772 jobs and giving non-medical staff training to carry out tasks previously done by medical staff.

It says that the trust will need to do things differently and “radically change” the way services are delivered.

The cost of pay at the trust is, on average, 65 per cent of income, and the trust will need to deliver substantial efficiency savings over the next five years, estimated in the report to be in the region of £50 million.

Jo Gibbs, RCHT lead for human resources said: "In the next five to ten years, the NHS will change significantly. RCHT must adapt and be flexible to meet the expectations of GP Commissioners and those patients using acute, community and specialist care services.

"'Our People Strategy' sets out how we aim to develop and shape our workforce using their talents and skills to be responsive to the health needs of people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"We need to plan for new treatments, new technology and care delivered in different settings - with a greater emphasis on integration and partnership with other organisations.

"The exact size and shape of the workforce is not yet clear and there will be a wide range of considerations and opportunities in the years ahead. RCHT will work in partnership with its staff and trade unions to achieve this clarity and to jointly plan.

"Currently our priority is to invest in additional midwives to match the increasing birth rate and increase the number of registered nurses on our wards to ensure our patients receive consistent, high quality care."

The report says: “It is likely that the number of people employed will reduce, reflecting the strategy to deliver care closer to home and the long term financial plan for the trust. The extent of this reduction will depend on the unit cost of employment and the extent to which services move from an acute setting delivered by RCHT or other qualified providers of healthcare.

It adds: “For the foreseeable future the increasing demands on the NHS must be met from current funding whilst at the same time quality, outcomes and patient experience are improved. This means that simply doing more of what we have always done is no longer an option. We will need to do things differently and radically change the way our services are delivered.

The report suggests that administration posts could be the focus for job losses, with non-medical staffing “projected to change significantly with reductions in administrative staff as systems and efficiencies become leaner and more streamlined”

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