Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman's anger at HRI plans to cut jobs, reduce pay and sell buildings

Veteran MP "shocked and disappointed" at £20m cost cutting proposals

Public meeting regarding local NHS plans, Lord Street Mission, Huddersfield. Barry Sheerman addresses the meeting.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman says he’s “shocked and disappointed” by NHS plans to slash jobs, cut pay and sell buildings.

As reported yesterday, plans to radically cut costs at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital were exposed in a leaked document to the Examiner.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust needs to save £20m by next March and a further £19m in 2015/16.

Mr Sheerman said it was the first time in his 35-year career that large cuts had been planned without him being briefed beforehand.

The veteran MP vowed to ask chief executive Owen Williams “what’s going on” and said he would scrutinise the plans in great detail.

He said: “It’s very worrying, job cuts usually lead to poorer services.

“I hope the staff are being fully involved in these changes. I’m concerned that we might lose the fantastic motivation and commitment of staff that we’ve always had.

“My job is to make sure we get the best health care we possibly can.

“We’ve had cuts already, we’ve got this privatisation of much of our health service by the back door.

“The clinical commissioning group system is back door privatisation.

“I’m really worried about the future of the NHS – it’s cut, cut and cut again.

“We have an NHS that’s needed and supported by this town and they deserve to be consulted. If not, I can only see bad things happening.

“If that’s what it’s come to then it will be a very sad state of affairs.”

Exact numbers of job losses have not been revealed but the leaked report says “headcount reductions” in admin and non-clinical staff are needed along with any jobs identified as “non critical”.

“Efficiencies” will also sought from nursing, midwifery and therapy workers and a plan to reform wages, reduce Sunday pay and cut sick pay are also proposed.

110 beds will go, 66 of which could be removed by October.

Plans to raise cash by selling NHS buildings are also revealed, including nurses’ accommodation, Acre House, a number of buildings on Acre Street, and the Princess Royal Community Health Centre.

Outsourcing of estates and immunology services and an increase in the use of technology is also set to threaten jobs.

And plans to increase income from private patients and from overseas visitors are also proposed.

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