NHS job losses exaggerated17th October 2006
Despite predictions of thousands of NHS job cuts to meet both financial targets and service changes, Tony Blair has predicted redundancies will not reach more than a few hundred this year.
A survey by NHS Employers suggests changes to services and financial instability may lead to up to 20,000 posts being axed, but in his monthly press briefing, the prime minister said most of the cuts would come from natural wastage – unfilled vacancies, and those caused by staff movement. He blamed negative headlines for making people believe the NHS was failing, despite their own positive experiences.
After years of increasing NHS staffing, trusts are announcing plans to reduce staff and close wards to reduce the half-a-billion pound deficit.
NHS chief executive David Nicholson has said there will be significantly less than 20,000 posts cut, although admitting there would be no central figures kept. Each year 130,000 people move jobs across the NHS, he said.
Despite the financial constraints facing trusts, Mr Blair said NHS staffing changes were also due to new ways of working and increasing technology, which meant there was less need for long hospital stays, and more chances for patients to be treated at home, or closer to home.
In response, pressure group Health Emergency issued a dossier detailing more than 20,000 staffing reductions announced in the last eight months.
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Title: NHS job losses exaggerated
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 934
Date Added: 17th Oct 2006