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Nursing job losses concern

10th February 2009

The Royal College of Nursing has called a plan to make cuts to nursing posts in Northern Ireland - at a loss of 722 jobs - "deeply concerning".

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The cutting of nursing jobs come as part of a scheme which could see 2,500 NHS staff lose their posts by 2012.

The Royal College of Nursing's director, Mary Hinds, stated that the NHS needed an increased number of nurses, rather than the proposed cuts.

However Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said he needed to ensure 3% efficiency savings were made by 2012.

Ms Hinds said the loss of nursing staff meant that patient care would be adversely affected: "You can't get much more frontline than a nurse and we're gravely concerned about that impact on patient care."

"Nurses want to give good care to patients and we are concerned that the loss of these posts will have a detrimental effect on care."

The Treasury told all executive departments they needed to make efficiency savings in October 2008.

Mr McGimpsey said: "For me, with the biggest department, that means that I have to find £700m in efficiencies over the next three years."

"But through negotiation, all of that money, every single penny that comes out in efficiencies, will all go back in - it's all ring-fenced for health."

On 10 February the assembly will gather to discuss the DH's plans.

 

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