Surrey hospital trusts set out staffing changes

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Staffing changes have been set out by two hospitals as the roles of porters and medical secretaries are moved to private firms.

East Surrey Hospital in Redhill is in talks with secretaries about job cuts.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS said it was procuring a new system so letters that used to take six weeks would take a couple of days.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital said it was moving 200 facilities management jobs to a private company, Medirest.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare, which runs the hospital in Redhill, said it was procuring and had piloted a "digital dictation system" for patients' letters.

'More doctors'

In a statement, the trust said: "The system will reduce the typing work load and therefore we have a duty to the taxpayer to review the medical secretary workforce with a view to reducing the current establishment."

The union Unison told the BBC it was concerned about the jobs being lost to a private company.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford said reviews of porters' roles had led to the decision, but it was working with the union on how to mitigate the impact on workers.

It also said a contract for catering services with Medirest was being extended by two years and expanded to include cleaning, portering, main reception, post room and switchboard services.

Up to 200 staff would transfer from NHS employment to Medirest with no anticipated job losses, it added.

Alf Turner, director of organisational transformation, said the changes would save just over £400,000 per year which would be invested in more nurses and doctors.

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