Hospital cost-cutters ask workers to resign


Hospital staff at the DGH are being asked to consider taking voluntary resignation as the trust battles to save money.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHNT), which runs the Eastbourne hospital and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, has been trying to save millions of pounds and took on a turnaround director to patch up its finances.

At a board meeting in June it was announced the trust faced a staggering deficit of £19.4 million for the year and since then staff have been asked to submit any 
cost saving ideas they may have.

And in a weekly message issued to staff on Friday (January 24) the trust’s chief executive, Darren Grayson, explained that the Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) had been launched where staff members could choose to leave employment in return for a severance payment.

It is only open to staff in specific roles, including those in administrative roles and managerial staff.

A spokesperson for ESHNT said, “The trust needs to reduce its workforce costs and this scheme helps with an ‘early release’ arrangement to enable staff to apply for the opportunity to be released from their contract of employment in return for a voluntary severance payment.”

He added, “The trust has launched a Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS).

“It is a scheme under which an individual employee, in agreement with the trust as their employer, chooses to leave employment in return for a severance payment.

“It is a scheme used widely throughout the NHS and is designed to provide flexibility and support to NHS Trusts in periods of rapid change and re-design. MARS is not a redundancy or a voluntary redundancy.

“It is only available to the following staff groups only:

lAdministrative and clerical staff

lManagerial staff

lSenior clinical staff B7 and above (this does not include medical staff).

“It is not within the operational interests of the Trust to extend MARS to other staff groups at this time.”

Staff interested in the scheme have until Wednesday February 5 to apply.