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Cost-cutting targets GP hospital jobs

By Laura Passi

GP jobs are in line to be axed at a London hospital as part of a £9.5 million cost-cutting drive by NHS managers.

GPs working in the outpatient department at Northwick Park hospital have been informed that their staff posts are at risk of redundancy, as trusts clamour to make savings and shift more care into the community in line with the Government's national QIPP agenda.

The trust has enforced a cap on outpatient follow-up appointments for the second successive year, covering 28 areas including general surgery, respiratory and gynaecology.

The cuts are part of Northwest London hospitals NHS trusts' agreed target to reduce outpatient spend by £9.5 million in the period of 2011-2012, with managers estimating that 36,215 follow-up appointments will now have to be dealt with in primary care in order to meet the national target.

Dr Jane Woyka, a GP in Harrow, and a GP associate specialist in menopause care at the hospital, was one of four GPs told her job at the hospital was at risk.

She said: 'I think they are trying to save money. They have attacked outpatient follow ups so that we are only allowed to do 1.2 consultations per patient.'

'The patients are going to suffer because GPs don't have the knowledge and the skills. Patient care will be hugely compromised.'

A spokesperson for Northwick Park hospital said: 'Local PCTs have reduced their spending on outpatient services at our Trust by £9.5m as part of their developing commissioning intentions.'

'Decisions to reduce posts are never taken lightly and our priority will be to ensure any individuals affected, following consultation, are found suitable alternative employment within the Trust or the wider NHS.'

Cost-cutting targets GP hospital jobs