Welwyn Hatfield MP demands ‘urgent’ talks over hospital trust’s leaked scheme

PUBLISHED: 16:06 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:19 05 October 2017

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield’s MP has said he is seeking “urgent” discussions with the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust after details of a voluntary redundancy scheme were leaked.

The trust, which covers WGC’s New QEII and Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, today confirmed it has offered 900 staff the opportunity to apply for its Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS), which is designed to combat “financial challenges”.

•MORE: Hundreds of staff offered voluntary redundancy at New QEII and Lister Hospital

An ENHT spokesman said it estimated that around 40 applications would be approved, and stressed that they would only be accepted where there would be no direct impact on patient care.

Conservative MP Grant Shapps said: “The leaked plans from East and North Herts NHS Trust outlining a voluntary redundancy scheme are very concerning.

New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden CityNew QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City

“The trust should be bolstering our NHS resources in Welwyn Hatfield, particularly at a time of growth in population and demand for local services.

“I am seeking urgent discussions with the Chief Executive and asking for answers to a number of serious questions.”

ENHT’s announcement triggered fears among workers questioning their futures, with one claiming any staff cuts would hit already-stretched front-line services.

Labour’s Anawar Miah, who ran against Mr Shapps in June, said: “Every single employee within the NHS makes a crucial contribution to our well-being.

“We warned people that the Tories would target our already-stretched NHS for cuts and this is just one part of the Tory programme of dismantling it.”

The trust spokesman said: “We would welcome any request for a meeting with Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP in order to discuss how we plan to reduce our administration costs and focus our resources on delivering patient care.”

*What are your thoughts? Email letters@whtimes.co.uk

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