Job losses at Ballykelly clinic

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Up to 60 people are set to lose their jobs in Ballykelly as part of a redundancy process at the North West Independent Clinic, the Sentinel can confirm.

A spokesperson for the clinic said the job losses are the direct result of a decision to end NHS referrals.

TUV Councillor Boyd Douglas, who represents the Ballykelly area on the new Causeway Coast and Glens council, said the job losses are a “matter of grave concern.”

A spokesperson for the North West Independent Hospital said: “The number of staff to be made redundant is not clear at this stage but up to a third of the independent hospital’s total workforce of 180 could be involved.

“The need for us to significantly reduce staff numbers is a direct result of the cessation of NHS referrals to the hospital under the Waiting List Initiative.

“For many years we have provided a professional service to the NHS to help reduce the time patients ave had to wait on operations. Despite the fact that these operations were carried out at a price which compared favourably to the cost of the operation being undertaken within the NHS this referral work has now been terminated.

“We greatly appreciate the support and commitment shown by our staff and deeply regret the need to make redundancies. The North West Independent Healthcare Group’s private healthcare, domiciliary care and recruitment divisions are unaffected.”

TUV Councillor Boyd Douglas said: “I am alarmed that last week all staff at the North West Independent Clinic were informed that there would be a large number of redundancies. It seems that staff with less than a year’s service or staff on probation will be given a week’s notice of termination of employment on 22nd September.

“It is suspected that this could result in a significant number of job losses but that number could well rise following a consultation.

“It is my understanding that services provided by the North West Independent Clinic did not cost any more than those provided directly by the NHS so I would question if this move really is a prudent money saving move.

“Particularly given the current economic circumstances this will be a matter of grave concern for both the employees and their families. I will be pressing statutory agencies to provide the support which workers will require.”