HOSPITAL bosses are set to make 68 more redundancies as part of plans to save another £13m.

The announcement that nurses, administrators and managers will be given their marching orders was delivered at Lewisham Hospital's annual meeting on September 27.

Redundancies are set to be made in the next few months and are part of a second phase of savings by the Lewisham High Street hospital, which plunged £7.5m into the red from March 2004 to April last year.

Between 2005 and this year bosses clawed back £13m, which covered inflation costs, by measures including closing nearly 100 beds and making 47 redundancies.

It ended this financial year with a deficit of only £1.3m.

But now, because of accounting rules, the hospital's new Riverside centre, the deficit and inflation it must once again save £13m by March next year to break even.

But the hospital thinks it will still have a deficit of £6.8m because of costs relating to making redundancies.

The Riverside is the Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust's new £70m centre and is due to open on November 2.

Its facilities include 410 beds and four operating theatres.

Chief executive Claire Perry said: "It's been a difficult year and we have had to take measures to get back into the black.

"We've got to make sure the hospital only undertakes work it is paid for. We can't carry on providing services which aren't our responsibility.

"We have made people redundant and we have closed beds but last year we treated more people than we did the year before."

Head of human resources Wendy Gay said: "We have made fewer redundancies than the number of staff we consulted and we have been able to redeploy staff.

"We are currently consulting with 131 members of staff from across the trust and a decision on who goes will be made shortly."

But Ms Perry praised staff for significant reductions in MRSA infection rates, achievements in children's services and clinical care.

She added: "The Riverside building opens in November and we are having a big marketing campaign to encourage people to choose Lewisham.

"The more people who choose to come to Lewisham, the more income we will get and the better our finances will be."