Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust has made a U-turn on its decision to axe 28 managerial posts by next month - a move which would have cost £3m in redundancy packages.

Plans to cut senior managers’ jobs were announced last December as part of the trust’s plan to tackle its £7.4m debt. A total of 200 frontline and managerial staff were expected to be made redundant over two years.

Freezing staff pay was considered but this has been ruled out

But after discussions with NHS Dorset and South West strategic health authority, interim chief executive Derek Smith said the trust’s current plans “no longer depend on making any major staff reductions through redundancies”.

He said the trust would make staff reductions “through staff turnover” and would implement “a range of projects” to help address the deficit.

These include:

  • appropriate charging for services
  • buying supplies more competitively
  • ensuring fewer cancelled operations and full use of operating theatre capacity.

A trust spokeswoman said the projects aim to tackle the whole of the £7.4m deficit and that there are “no plans on the table” to move towards local pay negotiations. “Freezing staff pay was considered but this has been ruled out. Any pay negotiations will be done through Agenda for Change,” she said.

Staff side chair Jenny Price welcomed the “clarity about the situation” from the trust.