180 staff at risk of losing jobs at Epsom and St Helier hospitals trust
Up to 180 hospital staff are at risk of losing their jobs as part of cost-cutting plans.
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust's pathology services employ nearly 400 people, cost £20m a year to run and are based at the two hospitals and West Park in Epsom.
However, after a review, led by Dr Hervey Wilcox, clinical director for clinical services, the trust launched a consultation which proposed bringing all the pathology services onto just the Epsom and St Helier sites and saving up to £2.9m a year.
It forms part of the trust’s plan to save £19.9m in 2013-14.
About 180 doctors and laboratory staff will be affected by the proposals with some being at risk of redundancy and others having to reapply for their jobs.
The trust is currently reviewing staff feedback about the consultation and will publish its response and updated plans soon.
A spokeswoman for the trust said it would not anticipate any change to the service provided to patients.
She said: "For the majority of staff, there will be little or no change to present working practices.
"We are, of course, supporting all staff involved in the review and will do our utmost to keep redundancies to an absolute minimum by redeploying staff to other roles, including frozen vacancies."
Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow said: "I can understand the uncertainty this will cause staff.
"However, the NHS does need to find ways to increase productivity and consolidating pathology services at the St Helier and Epsom sites makes."
Tom Brake the MP for Carshalton and Wallington added: "These changes must be driven by the need to improve patient care.
"If that is what is behind the trust’s plans and the trust works with affected staff to secure their futures, patients could benefit from these measures."