St George’s Healthcare has today announced to staff that it is planning to save £55 million during 2011/12. The figure made up of a £40 million cost reduction programme (CRP) and £15 million related to quality, innovation, productivity, prevention (QIPP) targets.

The £40m cost reduction target is linked to NHS efficiency savings, tariff reductions and cost pressures. QIPP is a new NHS programme designed to provide care to patients closer to home, particularly those with long-term conditions. The NHS is changing the way it spends money and is moving towards a focus on prevention rather than cure. This means that there will be a need to adjust hospital services to reflect the fact that more care will be provided in general practice and in the community.

David Astley, St George’s Healthcare chief executive said: “St George’s Healthcare is not immune to the financial challenges currently facing the wider NHS and we have been open with staff and unions about the need to achieve £55m savings during 2011/12. The whole public sector is having to make difficult and painful choices to help reduce the deficit. All hospitals are being asked to contribute to the 20% productivity improvement needed by the NHS and we are no exception.

“Our savings plans are being finalised and we are aiming to protect frontline services but we will need to take out posts in order to achieve our target. Reducing our costs is the only way to improve the quality of patient care. A key focus is to reduce our temporary staffing bill, which is currently £30 million per year and we are also reviewing non-clinical services.

“The trust is a major trauma centre, hyper-acute stroke unit and centre of excellence for cancer, cardiac and women’s and children’s services and we are committed to providing quality care to our patients.

“So far we have identified 200 posts that will go but are planning to avoid compulsory redundancies with those staff affected being redeployed into existing vacancies. We have rigorous quality control at a ward and clinic level to ensure that changes are made safely.

“I have personally briefed clinical leaders, union representatives and staff across the trust to set out the scale of the challenges that we face. These meetings have proved constructive and by working together I am confident that we can achieve our savings while continuing to provide high standards of care.”

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact contact the communications unit on 020 8725 5151 or email Outside working hours, please page us by calling St George’s 07659 146548 and leave a message for pager SG548. High res photos available on request.