No apology over Leicester NHS chief's 'no pay' e-mail

Malcolm Lowe-Lauri in his office
Image caption Malcolm Lowe-Lauri sent the email to senior managers

A hospital boss has refused to apologise for sending an e-mail to staff warning they might not get paid due to a financial "crisis".

It came as managers at Leicester's hospitals met to discuss how to deal with a £6m overspend.

The chief executive of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust defended telling staff they might not get paid unless cuts were made.

He said it was the toughest crisis the hospitals had faced in 10 years.

He said he was sorry if people were upset by it, but would not apologise for the message it contained.

'Recruitment freeze'

The e-mail was sent to staff last week warning them of "catastrophic" money issues.

It said: "There's a real issue about whether we will be able to pay our staff by August or September."

In a bid to ensure the trust could pay its staff, health bosses have agreed to an immediate freeze on all but essential locum, bank and agency expenditure.

There will be a recruitment freeze on all but essential posts and and a more efficient use of operating theatres will be put in place.

Mr Lowe-Lauri said: "That deals with the today issues. As for tomorrow, this is the bigger job.

"The divisional teams, led by the divisional directors and as part of the work to complete our five-year plan, will be bringing their teams together, especially their consultants, to take a long hard look at the way their services operate.

"Many of the questions I've had over the last few days have been about wages.

"Will staff be paid come September? Here's my answer. Yes. We will put the brakes on and sort this, but only if we pull together and resolve some of the issues I've talked about."

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust needs to make savings of £158m over the next five years due to government spending cuts.

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