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BMA urges input into jobs consultation

The BMA is urging doctors to respond to a consultation on a trust’s planned changes to services that would involve a cut of around 500 jobs in the next three years.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is proposing to cut 33 per cent of consultant posts and 40 per cent of SAS posts by 2016.

The consultation period closes at the end of the month.

The BMA is particularly concerned about:

  • The trust is not being fully open with the public about staffing cuts
  • The high level of staff vacancies
  • The huge loss of medical staff, which raises concerns about the quality and safety of services.

By 2016, under the proposal, the number of whole-time equivalent consultant posts would be cut from 99.76 to 66.7, and the number of SAS posts would be cut from 39.42 to 15.92. There are currently 9.25 consultant vacancies and 3.9 SAS vacancies.

BMA eastern regional council secretary Rob Harwood said: ‘The trust provides vital mental services to thousands of patients … Its website [says] it is “currently proposing some service changes”, but there is little information about [their] scale … and potential impact. A document not available on the website reveals that consultant numbers could be cut by over a third, and other grades of doctor [could be] cut by 40 per cent. Overall, up to 500 NHS jobs at the trust could go.

‘It is difficult to see how the trust can cut staffing levels on this scale and continue to provide services of the same quality.’

The BMA is urging members to respond to the consultation on the proposed service changes by January 21.

Respond to the consultation