At least 53,150 NHS jobs to go

The Daily Telegraph under Freedom of Information Act discovered that
53,150 posts are due to be lost across 155 hospital trusts, 126 primary care trusts, 23 ambulance trusts and 54 mental health trusts in England, as well as 15 Scottish trusts, nine Welsh trusts and six trusts in Northern Ireland.

But the numbers will probably be higher becasue 12 hospitals didn’t respond.

In some areas 1 in 5 NHS staff will lose their jobs.
Over 30% of short notice nursing posts are already going unfilled leaving wards understaffed.
(Warning - reader responses on the Telegraph site are nauseating.)

That is a very worrying number. I think one of the problems is that no-one can really define what front line actually means.
Also if those that might be deemed front line leave they could easily not be replaced. I think this sometimes leads to greater expense where agency nurses then have to be brought in at huge cost to cover holidays and sickness becuase staff numbers are so low.

I did a lot of work in a large teaching hospital a few years ago looking at nursing numbers on the wards. There was a complete lack of understanding by those controlling the budgets as to the needs of individual wards. That meant you could have wards where nursing required was quite minimal getting as many staff as wards where patient dependency was really high.
My point is, there is so much that could be done that isn’t.

Sorry for the rant! See what you mean about some of the reader responses! Elinda x

Thank you for highlighting this Molly. Actually where I live in Sussex, the Health Reforms are already having a detrimental effect on cancer services (Sussex is the first County to implement the reforms). Already the chemo unit at my local hospital has reduced it’s opening hours to two days per week, and the radiotherapy unit is so short of staff, that they have a six month backlog and are sending patients to the Marsden in Surrey.
To be perfectly honest, I find it astonishing that so few people on this forum are talking about the effect these reforms will have. Worse, I am saddened that some have said that it is wrong to post details of a campaign against the reforms, and have suggested that opposition is just a far left conspiracy. Given that the BMA, The Royal College of Nursing , The Royal College of General Practitioners, and six other health unions have all come out in opposition, the claim of far left banner waving is ludicrous.

Elinda - I agree that the temp staff element of the NHS needs sorting out - it is enormously costly. Same in education with supply teachers.
But there are so many people who think that cuts are only going to wipe out unnecessary bureaucracy - middle managers on fat cat salaries. Just not true.

As someone says in the article, backroom administration and effective management is what enables the NHS to work. If the back room can’t function then the frontline staff can’t do their jobs.
On a recent trip to the very busy dermatology clinic they only had one receptionist because the rest were off sick - it was utter chaos with appointments running 3 hours late and doctors bellowing at nurses. Back room staff are as crucial as frontline in my opinion. If porters don’t turn up then patients end up stuck in corridors for hours. If the Records people aren’t efficient then doctors don’t have medical records to hand.

The mere thought of cutting a chemo unit to twice weekly beggars belief.
How are we going to improve our cancer rates (as Cameron has pledged) when they are messing around like this with cancer services?
And what is troubling is that the really bad stuff hasn’t even kicked in yet.

I agree that we need all the nursing staff we can get but many managers are superfluous. I worked under a Service Manager who we never saw! My Office Supervisor, another Medical Secretary and myself ran our office between us and only saw this SM once in a blue moon. I can honestly say that he didn’t even know the names of his staff, never mind what they actually did. He was on over £45,000 a year. When he left, the next SM was a woman but just as invisible - she never even came to introduce herself until a month or so after she had taken over. We can do without these posts. The NHS is always in a state of flux, I have worked in the NHS for many, many years and every single one of them has had a ‘reorganisation’, such that we never knew from one year to the next what our job description would be.

Hi 50something, I know you’re right about too many chiefs, not enough indians, because of my experience working for the NHS. But these reforms are not just about rationalisation, or tinkering at the edges. The reason that the BMA, the RCN, and the RCGP’s are so against these heath reforms is that they will destroy the NHS. It will cease to be a national, universal, publicly owned service, and will become a fragmented, partially privatised, localised mishmash.

It does seem incredible that cancer services are being targeted. I thought those at the very least would be safe. I hope the MP in the area is taking this up.

I think it’s easy for politicians to talk about front line staff as it’s what the public wants to hear. Some of the key issues, I think, are about efficiency whether front line or back room. All sorts of issues are at play there from power games to lack of training.

I remember one sister in charge of a London A&E telling me that the way she kept all her staff and reduced agency staffing to virtually zero was by investing in training. Training times were sacrosanct. They’d had massive turnover and vacancies before she implemented that and then after that a much happier, more efficient and long term workforce.

My worry is that cuts will inevitably mean that things like personal development and training will be lost. Perhaps to most of us using the services they don’t seem like essentials but in reality they will have a huge impact on the service provided.

I could not agree more. I am horrified at the proposed changes and very scared about their impact. If i could get someone to cover me for a reasonable fee now , i would seriously consider private health insurance. I think this forum is an obvious place to discuss and highlight this as we are all service users and this is a very real area when political action directly affects my life, my medical care and all those on this forum. Yes, using the forum as a political soapbox generally isn’t appropriate, and i wouldn’t want to see debate on the killing of osama bin laden for example, but i cannot think of anything more relevant than the possible demise of the NHS. I am hoping that Nick Clegg will now return to his liberal roots and temper the government, even if only to recoup his ground support. Thankyou to everyone campaigning against the reforms and highlighting it here.


“there are so many people who think that cuts are only going to wipe out unnecessary bureaucracy - middle managers on fat cat salaries. Just not true”
I work in but not for, the NHS. Loads of ‘managers’ are on less than 20K. Hardly fat cats.

The stats say that there are now more ‘managers’ than ever in NHS but that is partly due to job name changes. Ward Sister/Charge Nurse is now Ward Manager. Chief Radiographer is now called Radiography Manager etc etc. Of course those two examples are on way more than 20K.

Some inflammatory letters to my local rag say stuff like “keep the nurses and doctors but sack all the rest. ALL of them”.

So…during open heart surgery, one of the pumps breaks down on the heart by-pass machine. It’s 4.30 on a Friday afternoon. They have 4 back-up pumps for this eventuality but cannot be one down for very long in case it is also needed as back-up. The surgical team can hardly start riffling through a filing cabinet to look who services it and what the phone number is etc etc.
So they phone someone who “manages” it and that person is an expert in maintenance contracts for medical kit and knows what sort of faults are covered under the contract. Person telephones the correct company, speaks the correct jargon so that the engineer knows the precise nature of the fault and arranges urgent engineer attendance and then also calls the surgical team back to let them know what’s going on and offers immediate re-assurance.

And if the chap who wrote “sack them ALL” had his way, the patients could die because there is no back-up. Nurses and doctors have nursing and doctoring to do and are not contract managers and do not know how to mend machines.

It’s a true story (this sort of stuff happens all the time) and I am the ‘person’. And I’m not a fat cat but have been known to purr if chocolate is served :slight_smile:

Tors I so agree with you. I wouldn’t want the forum to be used for general political discussions either (and definitely not party politics). But like you I’m very concerned about the Health Service, and feel that these reforms are very relevant to all cancer patients. Thats why I’m surprised that some have expressed the view that it is inappropriate to give information about the planned protest against the Health Reforms.
Surely people can make up their own mind if they want to support the protest - I just cannot understand what’s so wrong in giving the info.

“Loads of ‘managers’ are on less than 20K. Hardly fat cats.”

That’s my point exactly Ninja - but there is a persistent myth out there that that NHS is swamped with useless faceless bureacurats. It is a bit like the nasty little myth that says that everyone on sickness benefits is a workshy scrounging cheat.
Incidentally - did anyone see the Hardest Hit march yesterday? Thousands of people with disabilities and life limiting conditions having to take to the streets to defend their right to DLA and essential services.

I don’t see the problem in discussing anything on the current events thread. It has been the location for fabulous debates over the years. Breast cancer took my boobs not my brain. If people aren’t interested in something then don’t read it or participate in it - god knows there is plenty on this forum that I have zero interest in but I wouldn’t want to stop people from discussing it.
If something annoys/bores then just ignore it.

It is very odd how the word “politics” has been demonised in this country. I can’t imagine the French or the Americans even having a conversation about what is appropriate. Indeed the US BC site is awash with discourse about private insurance and Obama’s health bill. People in the UK do seem very divorced from the “politics” of their own health care.

I suspect that for some they won’t appreciate what they have got in the NHS till it’s gone.

Molly, you are right, This health reform is not just tinkering, it will destroy the NHS as it was conceived, and we know it.

I worked as a nurse in the NHS and also wanted to point out that a large porportion all these managers that are being demonised are actually clinicians who also have the responsability of managing teams etc, so doing clinical work as well. From speaking to friends still nursing, it seems that another way of cutting costs is giving nurses on lower grades more and more responsability, which will inevitably lead to lower standards. The government is not being honest about the proposed reforms and we need to be discussing it.