WORKFORCE: Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust is cutting 70 posts to reduce payroll costs, it has announced.

The trust said the move was part of a workforce transformation programme which would result in further changes to roles, and consultations on potential redundancies.

Following a review of staffing requirements, 70 posts have been identified for removal, 20 of which will be eliminated by natural turnover. It is consulting internally on the changes.

A trust statement said: “The amount spent on staff pay currently runs at 65 per cent of the whole Cambridge University Hospitals budget and a major part of the workforce transformation programme is geared to reducing this figure while making sure the workforce is effective and sustainable, and patient care is not compromised.”

The trust said it was also imposing tighter controls on the use of bank and agency staff and said “only essential posts have been filled when staff leave or retire”.

Chief executive Keith McNeil said: “We are doing all we can to minimise redundancies but we have reached the point where we have to decide which roles we can do without. We must reduce our pay costs given the percentage the payroll contributes to our overall budget.

“Patient safety remains at the heart of all we do and removal of roles will only happen if there is no tangible risk to the quality and safety of patient care, and the effective functioning of our hospitals.”

Dr McNeil added that the trust was “still in turnaround and under close scrutiny from Monitor”.

An internal consultation will end on 17 July.