Hospital announces cash saving cuts to get out of the red

A RAFT of cost-cutting measures has been announced by bosses at Weston General Hospital last week, including plans to cut 150 jobs and

A RAFT of cost-cutting measures has been announced by bosses at Weston General Hospital last week, including plans to cut 150 jobs and charge staff for car parking.Several disgruntled staff members have spoken to the Weston & Somerset Mercury about the new measures, one warning that Uphill will be clogged with cars as people try to avoid the charges. At a meeting on Tuesday, finance chief Tracey Easton of Weston Area Health Trust, which runs the hospital, said that 150 jobs will go over the next two years, with staff who leave not being replaced.One hospital nurse, who did not wish to be named, said: "I imagine the residents of Uphill will be thrilled to know their village will become a staff car park for hospital staff as well as visitors who try to avoid the costly parking charges."The majority of staff are up in arms at being asked to fund the hospital's debts out of their own meagre wages."The announcements come as part of chief executive Lorene Read's plans to save £9million this year to get the trust out of the red. However, not all staff are against the charges. Another nurse said: "We are lucky that we have a car park. "Some hospitals in Bristol don't and the staff have to pay for parking as well."The same nurse went on to describe how morale had been dented by media coverage because their jobs do not allow them to defend themselves against patients' accusations. She said: "Nurses at this hospital and across the country work 24/7 to help patients and we are professionals who know how to do our jobs."But we are losing the trust and respect of the public because we cannot respond to accusations which are being made by patients."We are working extremely hard together and we're under a lot of pressure as we're trying to save the hospital."For every complaint we hear about there are three people saying thank you."What has happened to the respect we used to get from the public? "Nursing has changed - we do not know what the future holds and we are just taking each week as it comes.


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