Hospital cuts bite
10:40am Friday 20th July 2012 in Milford Haven
HYWEL Dda Health Board has slapped a recruitment freeze on some healthcare posts and cut study leave as it struggles to make savings of £36m, the Milford Mercury can reveal.
A letter sent to executive directors and managers from health board chief executive Trevor Purt and director of workforce Janet Wilkinson, announces new workforce expenditure controls.
It details that the use of agency nurses ceased as of July 1, with the exception of the intensive treatment unit, and as of July 16 some posts are only to be filled via internal recruitment such as community posts and externally funded posts.
All admin and clerical agency has also been cut, along with overtime with enhanced rates of pay and waiting list initiative payments.
Staff have also been reminded of the need to “reduce travel wherever possible” and consider car sharing.
Study leave is only to be approved for ‘essential circumstances’.
A Health Board spokesman said all health boards had a statutory duty to remain within their annual funded resources.
“Hywel Dda Health Board received £33m Welsh Government Assistance in 2011/12 which has tapered to £23m in 2012/13, and, 2012/13 inflationary cost pressures are unfunded,” the spokesman added. “This means the Board has to make in-year savings of £36m, which we’re doing through a combination of savings plans – across pay and non-pay – and reviewing our use of estate /buildings, stock controls and provisions.
As pay accounts for 46% of the Health Board’s expenditure, it follows that pay savings are about the same - at £15.9m.
“We are targeting premiumpay and turnover to contain our costs, and this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with the objective of ensuring that we recover our position to achieve year end breakeven.”