Hospital bosses have promised to work with staff to resolve issues surrounding cost-cutting measures after a no-confidence vote.

Senior doctors at Wirral Hospital Trust, which runs Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals, passed a vote of no-confidence in their chief executive Len Richards.

The ballot followed a series of controversial decisions made by the Trust including changing Clatterbridge into a day-case centre only and also the proposed plans for vascular surgery to be merged with the Countess of Chester.

A joint statement has been released on behalf of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the British Medical Association and the hospital’s medical board.

It says: “Following feedback received from the consultant body, the Trust's board of directors is working together with the Medical Board to identify how best to achieve a positive resolution to the concerns expressed.

“We have a joint commitment to ensuring that this organisation can continue to focus upon providing excellent sustainable patient care and as such are encouraged by the constructive discussions held to date.

"We are confident that we will reach a resolution that is in the best interests of the Trust and the patients it serves.”

But nursing union the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the cost-cutting decisions will do little to improve staff morale.

RCN officer Colm Byrne said: “Thanks to a combination of bed closures, ward closures and service changes, morale among the nursing staff is almost at ‘rock bottom’.

"As if this isn’t bad enough, problems at the trust have taken a turn for the worse with consultants expressing their frustrations through a ballot”.

“For months now nurses at the trust have expressed serious fears about the effect that these changes will have on patient services and care across both hospitals sites.

"Time and again the RCN has raised genuine concerns with senior managers to warn of the impact of their cost cutting.

“Although the trust says it is listening, very little seems to change. It’s little wonder that many nurses feel so demoralised and with those members who have contacted us about the consultants ballot saying that they sympathise with their medical colleagues”.

Earlier this month, Wirral's four MPs wrote to Mr Richards criticising the decision to move vascular services to Chester.

Arrowe's vascular unit is well-established and provides treatment for life-threatening emergencies such as ruptured aneurysms, acute anaemia and traumatic injury to blood vessels.

Senior clinicians at Arrowe Park believe moving the service away from Wirral would put local patients at an increased risk.