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Front-line NHS job cuts

11th April 2011

A union has warned that many front line healthcare jobs could be lost because of government cuts to the NHS.

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According to analysis of 21 trusts by the Royal College of Nursing, over 50% of posts in danger of being lost were nursing or midwife positions.

The leader of the RCN Peter Carter said losing thousands of midwives and nurses would have a "catastrophic" impact on the health service.

However, Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, said cuts were necessary in order to reorganise the NHS.

The government has set a target of saving £20 billion by 2014/15 in order to meet the increasing demands put on the NHS by obesity and an ageing population.

The RCN has been collecting data concerning the amount of positions in danger in the health service for almost a year.

It thinks there are now 40,000 positions which would be scrapped over the next three years, representing an increase from 27,000 at the close of last year.

The union looked at 21 trusts to find out what kinds of posts were under threat.

It found that 54% of about 10,000 job cuts were in clinical areas and a total of more than 10% of nursing positions could be scrapped.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said the reforms could "well turn out to be the biggest disaster in the history of our public services" if the government did not pay attention to the concerns of unions and other bodies.

"Clinical staff are the lifeblood of the NHS and it is haemorrhaging at an alarming rate. Many trusts are not being transparent by admitting the proportion of clinical jobs being lost."

"From our research we now know the truth - the majority of job losses are front-line clinical jobs, the jobs that matter to patients," he added.

 

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