WORKFORCE: Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation is set to axe 200 posts as part of plans to meet national efficiency targets over the next year.

In a statement the trust said that it has started a period of consultation with staff, managers and unions.

Mel Pickup, trust chief executive, said: “In common with all other NHS organisations, we are now in our third successive year of having to make significant annual efficiency savings. Up until this point we have achieved this without needing to reduce the number of staff we employ.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and I am absolutely committed to working with our staff to keep the number of posts to be lost to the smallest possible. We have begun consultation with our staff and their union representatives and we want to be very clear that this is about posts, not people.

“There are currently a number of vacancies at any one time within the organisation which we will be looking at first of all. Compulsory redundancy is an absolute last resort and we have a good track record of working with our staff and avoiding redundancies.”