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North West Independent Hospital in Ballykelly blames job losses on health cuts

By John Porter

A private hospital in Co Londonderry has blamed cuts in the health service for it facing the prospect of having to lay off up to 60 people.

The North West Independent Hospital in Ballykelly said it needed to "significantly" reduce its staff given the ending of patients being referred to it by the health trusts across Northern Ireland.

A spokesman said the exact number was "not clear", but up to one-third of its 180-strong workforce could face redundancy.

"The need for us to significantly reduce staff is a direct result of the cessation of NHS referrals to the hospital under the waiting list initiative," the spokesman said.

"For many years we have provided a professional service to the NHS to help reduce the time patients have had to wait for operations. Despite these operations being 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."

Limavady mayor Alan Robinson said the announcement was "alarming" and he feared all the hospital's staff could be affected.

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