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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Hospital staff protest over cuts
Staff at a Shropshire hospital unhappy at job cuts have staged what a union says is their first demonstration for 20 years.

Doctors, nurses, medical secretaries and cleaners joined Wednesday's protest at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Protesters said they had believed their jobs were for life.

But the trust, which runs the site and one in Telford, said cuts were necessary to keep hospitals open. It is 31m in debt and axing nearly 300 jobs.

'Modernise services'

Protestors said 81 of the 300 cuts had already been made by not replacing staff who left.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust has said work done by the 170 medical secretaries in Shrewsbury and at the Princess Royal hospital, in Telford, is also under review.

Tom Taylor, from the trust, said: "We have to modernise the services.

"The key issue is we must maintain the two hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford and if we continue to lose 10 and 12 million pounds a year someone will suggest that we should close one of them and we desperately do not want that."

Unison said it was the first time in 20 years that staff at the Shrewsbury hospital had demonstrated.

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