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Job Loss Fears In East Sussex NHS

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

GMB Members To Meet On Review Of 200 Admin, Booking And Reception Jobs In East Sussex NHS That May Lead To Job Losses And Disruption To Patient Services

There is unfortunately a real chance that for some staff it’s a going to be a move too far and as such redundancy maybe the only option for them says GMB

GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, will convene a meeting next week of members employed in clinical administration, booking and reception functions across East Sussex NHS Trust to consider a response to a review of 200 jobs that could lead to job losses and a disruption to patient services across East Sussex.

This is after members raised serious concerns with the GMB that the current on-going rushed consultation on the review of the clinical administration which supports clinical pathways and specifically the booking and reception functions throughout the Trust has the potential to result in some job losses from around the 200 members of staff currently going through the process.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Officer said “Staff who work at the EDGH, Conquest hospital together with those who work in the community at places such as Uckfield, Lewes, Bexhill and Rye hospitals are having to come to terms with facing at the very least redeployments to other hospitals within the Trust, along with the inevitable down banding of current roles and salary’s which goes hand in hand with this Trust when implementing these types of moves.

Once again the Trust is shuffling hospital services and staff around using sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors in an attempt to fool patients, staff and public into thinking that there is a real long term service benefit to these changes

GMB members are convinced it’s purely about the continued down grading of the EDGH through a series of cuts, closures along with the transfer and redeployment elsewhere of hospital services and staff to clear their continuing growing mismanaged debts. This could lead to an eventual result potentially ranging from Eastbourne being classed as a minor injury or cottage hospital or even facing total closure, with services being entirely moved to the conquest. GMB is opposed to the continued downgrading of Eastbourne hospital.

Members tell us they are absolutely furious with the way they are being treated once again by the Chief Executive and his management team through such an ill-conceived and badly prepared for consultation process which originally the Trust intended to carry out in only a 14 day period. GMB have seen that at one to one meeting managers are simply informing staff they will be transferring to Conquest hospital at the end of the consultation. They  admit they have no idea what hours or shift patterns they might be ask to work and are unable to supply even job descriptions for roles which they are expected to apply or transfer to.

GMB has raises grievances with the Trust on behalf of members regarding the consultation period. As a result the Trust has now extended the process to 30 days. Given the number of staff involved who may potentially have problems for example transferring to the Conquest hospital we feel it should be extended to 45 days. This is because of the excessive additional travel it might involve which could be around 40 miles a day in some cases. Many issues that such additional time and travel can bring to things such as childcare or other family care commitments and school runs for instance, plus of course just the general cost increase implications that this type of redeployment can have as an effect on those at the lower end of the pay scales and who will be least able to absorb them. There is unfortunately a real chance that for some it’s a going to be a move too far and as such redundancy maybe the only option for them.

Members will meet early next week where they will collectively decide on the right and appropriate action to take as a response to the Trusts unprofessional and unfair consultation process.  I can say after hearing their comments recently that at this stage they are not ruling out anything response wise, to the current threat to their jobs and work life balance.”


Contact : Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552165950 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518

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