ANOTHER health body serving this area has announced a major programme of cash cuts.
Wirral Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals, aims to slash its running costs by at least £21.5m over the next five years.
The cuts package includes:
The closure of two wards in 2007/08 and a further two wards in 2008/09
The centralisation of all elderly care wards on the Arrowe Park site
Assessing the possibility of developing shared services with neighbouring NHS trusts.
A maximum of 150 staff will need to be redeployed as a result of the ward closures.
However, the Trust says up to 50 new jobs will be created through savings made.
All this comes on top of measures already introduced to reduce running costs by £5.5m between now and the end of the current financial year.
Frank Burns, Trust chief executive, said: 'The way in which we currently provide services costs a great deal more than the money we are expecting to receive in the next five years. Remaining as we are is therefore not an option.
'By gradually adjusting our services and staffing over a number of years to meet expected demand, we will avoid major financial problems that could only be solved by making large numbers of staff redundant.'
He added: 'These proposals would not involve compulsory redundancies.'