HSJ’s round-up of Monday’s must read stories and talking points

Cost cutting in Whitehall

More than 500 civil servants working for the Department of Health are to leave their jobs under a major Whitehall cost cutting drive, HSJ has learned.

In total 538 employees at the DH are to take voluntary redundancy during the next few months under measures announced following the spending review in 2015, when it was reported that up to 650 jobs could go.

The department is trying to reduce its running costs by 30 per cent over five years, and it is planning to relocate staff from its three existing offices to new premises at 39 Victoria Street in central London.

It is understood the number of non-senior DH staff is to fall from 1,800 to 1,300 by April. The number of DH deputy directors will also be reduced from 116 to 80. Leaving dates will vary but the majority are expected to leave before April.

Barts back online

Barts Health Trust is working to clear a significant backlog of pathology tests after a computer virus disrupted the London trust’s IT services at three hospitals.

The virus struck on Friday and was initially thought to be a so called ransomware virus by trust IT staff but has now been identified as a Trojan malware virus which has not been seen before.

The trust said on Monday it had successfully quarantined the files and dealt with the virus, which caused document sharing across the trust to be switched off.

In response to the incident, the trust was forced to shut down all non-urgent pathology services at the Royal London, St Bartholomew’s and Newham hospitals.

An internal message to staff said only urgent requests would be processed. Staff were unable to view test results on the trust’s systems but were able to access historical results.

HSJ understands Newham’s pathology services came back online on Sunday but the systems at the Royal London and St Bartholomew’s were still offline as of Sunday night.