Threat to 400 jobs as NHS trust plans cuts

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ALMOST 400 jobs could be axed over the next two years as an NHS trust responsible for mental health services plans to make cuts.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides services in 1066 Country and the rest of the county, said the current economic climate meant the organisation had to make savings.

It said it needs to save £14.2 million over the next 12 months alone.

However the trust remained tight-lipped where the job losses would be, and was unable to rule out Woodlands psychiatric unit, based at the Conquest Hospital, being affected..

“It is quite difficult to be clear at this stage what it means for any locality so it would be foolhardy to make predictions too far ahead,” a trust spokesman said.

He added: “We have successfully managed to avoid compulsory redundancies by ensuring that our staff take up redeployment opportunities within our services and by carefully managing our vacancies.

“This remains our priority and we are working closely with our trades union representatives to make sure that everyone who wants a job with Sussex Partnership gets one.”

Sue Morris, the trust’s acting chief executive, said the organisation was “under no illusion” that it was entering a “very challenging financial and business climate”.

But she said the partnership was winning new contracts and added: “We are rapidly establishing a reputation as a market leader in a variety of specialist sectors including secure and forensic and children’s mental health services.

“This new financial year will be a tough one but also a year of opportunity.”