England

Job cuts as NHS in Nottinghamshire tries to save £80m

Plans to cut Nottinghamshire's NHS budget by £80m over the next two years will include compulsory job losses.

Despite being protected from public spending cuts, the county's Primary Care Trust (PCT) says NHS funding is unlikely to rise in line with demand.

As a result, the organisation will be restructured in April and a number of management posts will be lost.

The announcement comes as the trust launches a public exercise to help streamline services in the county.

PCT spokesman Matt Youdale said: "The NHS has got to change. It can't stay the way it is and there are various reasons for that.

"Demand for services is going up significantly - by four or five per cent a year, populations are getting older, drugs more expensive, and we know that despite government promises about not cutting the NHS budget, the budgets within the public sector are seriously limited.

NHS 'inefficiencies'

"So by predicting where demand is going and what money we're likely to get, we know we're probably going to have to make about £80m worth of efficiencies in the NHS - about £30m this year, £50m next year."

The trust said it had already taken steps to reduce its £24m annual running costs by a third, and that 52 staff were leaving voluntarily at the end of September.

To help meet the savings, bosses have launched the Big Healthy Debate, which encourages members of the public to tell them about any "inefficiencies" observed when using NHS services in the county.

They also want to raise awareness of unnecessary visits to hospital, including referrals from GPs, after spending about £6m last year dealing with patients who attended A&E but required no treatment or tests.

The PCT said the £20,000 public consultation project "should pay for itself several times over".

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