WORKFORCE: Luton and Dunstable Hospital Foundation Trust is looking at measures such as reducing workers’ annual leave and sick pay entitlement to meet savings targets.

A quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) update to the trust’s December board meeting, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, said the trust’s savings plans require £2m to be made from workforce savings. These include measures that would breach the terms of the Agenda for Change national pay agreement.

The foundation trust has been asked to make £16m in savings in the 2011-12 financial year as part of a local QIPP plan.

The report by interim chief operating officer Neil Permain discusses “options for achieving cost reduction through workforce reforms”. These include £1.5m which could be saved from freezing workers’ pay increments and £1m of savings if the trust was to “decrease annual leave by two to five days”.

It also said £400,000 could be saved from treating a bank holiday as a working day and a measure to “reduce sick entitlement” could save the trust £600,000.

Annual leave, sick pay, bank holidays and pay increments are all covered in the Agenda for Change agreement which covers non-medical NHS staff.

It also calculated that if the trust extended its pay freeze to include staff paid less than £21,000 it would save £450,000 in the year.

The report also contains details of QIPP projects already in place for next year. Of these, a maternity staffing review, limiting overtime and non-basic pay and reducing agency staff spending are expected to save a total of £1.35m.

Unison regional organiser Lorraine Kalaher said the proposals had been raised informally with the union. But she said: “We have Agenda for Change; we have a national agreement and we won’t be looking at any ways to change that.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Many hospitals are looking into how best to make savings with workforce.”

She said although the suggestions may not be possible within the national pay agreement, “we’re operating in line with Agenda for Change at the moment”.