NHS staff are being offered the chance to resign in return for a 'severance payment' in a cost-cutting move at Staffordshire's two biggest hospitals.
The mutually agreed resignation scheme (MARS) has been launched for non-clinical staff at two hospitals who form part of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.
The Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford's County Hospital are financial special measures and they are expected to have the highest budget deficit of any NHS trust in England. The trust has a total annual budget of £750 million, with the overspend working out at almost £80 million for Royal Stoke and £40 million at the Stafford site.
Under the scheme employees have received a one-time offer and have until June 7 to apply to leave the trust.
Mutually agreed resignation schemes were introduced by the Government in 2010 to help trusts experiencing extreme financial pressures.
Director of human resources Ro Vaughan said: "Our scheme provides staff, who meet the eligibility criteria, with the opportunity to leave the trust voluntarily in return for a severance payment. It is anticipated that the majority of staff who are eligible will be in non-clinical roles. This could benefit individuals wanting to make a change while allowing UHNM to take costs out of the organisation by doing things differently".
Chief executive Paula Clark added: “It's been made very clear that we are living beyond our means and we've got to do better".