Published: 22 June, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
STAFF morale at Whittington Hospital hit a new low yesterday (Thursday) with the news that a management reorganisation is expected to include redundancies.
Former car parts company turned business consultant Unipart is being paid £500,000 to make savings and “streamline” the hospital’s often criticised administration.
Senior executives from the hospital warned a meeting of 60 administrative staff that there would need to be “changes and flexibility”, and it could mean some jobs will go. The firm – formerly part of British Leyland – has been hired to implement a “lean methodology” across the NHS trust.
Whittington Health chief operating officer Maria da Silva said she was unable to give a figure of how many jobs might go.
She added: “I do understand the anxieties and these are very uncertain times. Things are changing but we are determined to communicate with staff and keep them fully informed about what is going on. We know that jobs will be affected but we will support people seeking other jobs in the organisation or in the NHS. Nothing is guaranteed because we still don’t know what changes will occur but we will try our best to redeploy staff if necessary.”
The hospital is convinced that the changes will improve and speed up outpatient waiting times and appointments.
Ms da Silva said that surveys show that patients are fed up with delays, cancellations and time wasting when they are waiting for treatment or to see a specialist.
She said: “We will be starting streamlining adult services, including cancer, maternity and women’s health, and later move on to children's and community services around the borough.”
The new changes will start to come into effect towards the end of this year. The hospital will be gauging patients’ opinions on whether there are improvements.
Ms da Silva, who has worked in Islington health services for 20 years, said she hoped the changes would make coming to the Whittington a “much better experience”.