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Wednesday 26th October 2016

'900' NHS redundancies

30th October 2006

27042006_empty_corridor.jpgAlmost a thousand staff are to lose their jobs across the NHS as part of ongoing reforms, says the government.

The 903 compulsory redundancies come as a result of hospital reorganisations, but health minister Lord Warner said the number is a far cry from the ‘inflated’ 20,000 being quoted by unions.

Unison has stood by the figure, saying the total referred to a range of ways jobs were being cut, including redundancies, post closures and job freezes which all affected their members by increasing workloads. The Royal College of Nursing has highlighted the impact this will have on patient care.

Unison is set to join other unions in lobbying parliament over NHS job losses on 1 November.

Lord Warner said the redundancies were ‘regrettable’ but should be seen in the context of the 300,000 additional staff employed by the NHS since 1997, which includes 85,000 nurses.

He pledged employers would do all they could to support staff, and added that compulsory redundancies had been minimised by reducing staffing levels through natural wastage and redeployment, as well as reducing use of agency staff.

The RCN said they were ‘dismayed’ that the number of posts being lost through natural wastage, voluntary redundancies and deleted posts had not been released.

NHS chief executive David Nicholson said the job losses came about as NHS organisations reviewed the way they work to ensure patient care is delivered in the most efficient way.

A recent staff survey by Unison has shown more people were now working overtime and a third of those surveyed felt patient care was compromised because there were fewer staff in their units.

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