Hundreds of health and council jobs to go in East End at Christmas

HUNDREDS of health and council jobs are set to go at Christmas, as the government’s austerity measures make their biggest impact yet on the East End.

The festive period is likely to be far from joyous for staff working at NHS Tower Hamlets, which will lose up to 99 staff members by January 6, and the council, which plans to axe 500 posts from early next year.

Frontline jobs, which include those at GPs’ and dentists’ surgeries, will not be affected.

The cuts at are part of a raft of changes at NHS Tower Hamlets announced earlier this week – including merging its management teams with neighbouring boroughs Hackney and Newham.

Some �14million – almost half the budget – must be saved by the three NHS trusts by the next financial year.

That means a total of 590 posts across Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham are likely to go by April.

An NHS Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “Patients should not notice any difference to the local health services they use and the maximum amount of money will go into frontline services.

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“The jobs that will be affected include those at director level.”

Some new management posts are set to be created though.

The decision came on the same day the government announced its white paper on health, which outlined how councils - not NHS trusts - will be handed more cash to deal with issues like smoking, obesity and excessive drinking.

Meanwhile, Tower Hamlets Council is also wielding the axe.

Last week, council staff were warned 500 posts - or ten per cent of the workforce – will go.

The council must save �29m, or just under a quarter of its budget, over the next financial year.

These cuts will hit the 5,532 employees who do not work at state-run schools.

Vital frontline services will be protected, the council insisted.

Chief executive Kevan Collins has started consultation with the unions about redundancies as the council looks to trim �70 million off its budget over the next three to four years.

Compulsory redundancies will be avoided where possible by not filling empty posts and early retirement or voluntary redundancy will also be offered.

Dr Collins said: “Our focus must be on continuing to deliver excellent public services, despite the financial constraints that we now have to operate within.”

The government will announce the full scale of cuts needed by councils later this month.

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