Major NHS job cuts on the way26th April 2010
Peter Carter, the head of the Royal College of Nursing, has warned that staff cuts in the NHS would have a "disastrous" impact for patients.
The leader of the nurses' union said to the BBC that the result of the job losses would be harsher than the fallout of five years ago when many staff lost their jobs.
The chief executive of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, has said that up to £20 billion in savings must be made in four years.
However Mr Carter stated that he thought politicians from all parties were being too hopeful.
"There are obviously efficiency savings which can be made, but it is pie in the sky to think that the £20bn figure can be achieved through better productivity alone."
"The reality is that plans are being drawn up to take money out of the NHS and it will be disastrous for the future," he said.
He added that he was worried that the response to mass job cuts would be worse than that of 2005/06 - when the RCN estimated 22,000 NHS jobs were lost with most of them culled from the health service's pool of 600,000 nurses.
"We were talking about £1.3bn then. So logic says if they take the same approach, the numbers of jobs going could be much greater and my fear is that front-line services will suffer," he explained.
Mr Carter added that a poll of 4,000 people by the RCN found 93% did not know that savings were required.
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Title: Major NHS job cuts on the way
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14707
Date Added: 26th Apr 2010