UNCERTAINTY surrounds the issue of redundancies of Scarborough Hospital’s planned merger with York draws closer.
Scarborough’s chief executive Mike Proctor confirmed that there are no plans to cut staffing levels at the moment.
However, he added: “I can’t say whether that will be the truth forever.”
Mr Proctor said that when he joined the trust in March last year, issues with staffing was one of the first things he noticed.
He said: “Some staffing levels were painfully thin. I just can’t see numbers being cut at Scarborough.
“But if patient levels at Scarborough change, we may have to look at staffing levels.”
Mr Proctor explained, however, that if the merger goes ahead as planned there could be some changes with “back office” functions.
He said: “There may be some changes. We will only need one human resources department, for example.
“The most honest thing to say is that nobody has ever merged two trusts that are 40 miles apart.
“But Scarborough has got to run as an independent hospital and there are no plans to cut staffing at the moment.”
Mr Proctor acknowledged that the trust needs to make savings where possible, but said that achieving it through redundancies is “the last thing on his mind”.
He added: “If savings need to be made, it would be done across the whole organisation.
“We would also need to do it in a way that is planned, not as an emergency situation.”
Mr Proctor also touched on the issue of locums, saying that joining forces would York should help the hospital attract more permanent medical staff.
Employing locum staff is currently costing Scarborough trust around £4 million a year.