A HOSPITAL is set to axe two bosses and then re-employ them on an "ad hoc" basis.

Deputy chief executive and nursing manager Vivien Rhodes and director of facilities and estates Barry Etherton, who both earn around £90,000, will leave Lewisham Hospital next March.

News Shopper understands their departure will see them receive a collective pay-off in the region of £100,000.

But in an email to hospital staff leaked to News Shopper, chief executive Claire Perry said Mr Etherton and Ms Rhodes may still be required to come back and work for the trust.

The email reads: "Given their special skills and experience, the trust board has agreed they may undertake ad hoc work for the trust, on very specific time-limited projects, where their organisational knowledge and history means they can deliver the project faster and more cost effectively than would be the case by using an external consultant.

"Their departure exemplifies there are many valuable staff undertaking the highest-calibre work - but unfortunately the trust cannot continue to fund the current level of posts."

Mr Etherton has worked at the hospital for 29 years, while Ms Rhodes has served 19 years.

Their departures come alongside plans to cut 50 more jobs from the hospital as it battles to claw back £13m by March next year.

The cuts are mainly to administration, clerical and management posts and will add to 47 redundancies made earlier this year.

Some hospital workers are angry at the arrangements relating to the two bosses.

One said: "They are making two people redundant, giving them a pay-off, then re-employing them to help out. What a con."

A spokesman for Lewisham Hospital said: "Vivien Rhodes and Barry Etherton have served this hospital with dedication for many years and their departures will be a real loss but the trust cannot continue to fund the current level of their posts.

"There are no set plans to use either of them as consultants after their terms of employment are completed unless their knowledge would make it more efficient to use them rather than other outside consultants."