Earlier this month the News reported a big black hole in the King’s College Hospital budget for this year, with £86million needing to be found down the back of the sofa by March to stay in the black.
When pressed to say where these savings would be made, the Trust told us it would renegotiate contracts and replace costly agency staff with a permanent workforce and staff were relieved to hear there were no plans to make swathes of redundancies or pay cuts.
There is more than one way to skin a cat though, as has been demonstrated by the news this week that staff parking permits are going to go up by a whopping 50 percent.
A senior member of staff wrote to the Head of Security, who announced the increase, and said nurses whose morale is already at an “all-time low” have been further demoralised by the news that they will be taxed for turning up to work.
With staff shortages as one of the main reasons why the hospital is paying out exorbitant agency fees, does it really want to drive away overworked staff by kicking them when they are down?
It’s hard to imagine how the Trust could avoid £86million of savings impacting its staff in some way but with pay rises stuck well below inflation – hitting them directly in the wallet is understandably being taken as an insult to the commitment they have shown under duress.
This is likely to be one of many announcements coming out of the hospital as we begin to see the detail of where these savings are going to be made and who will suffer as a result.