Date Published: 16 August 2006

NHS deficits crisis shows no sign of slowing down, according to Nurses' Union

The impact of deficits on NHS services and staff shows no sign of slowing down, with posts at risk of being lost to the NHS now standing at 18,000, according to the Royal College of Nursing. The new figure is released as the RCN launches a fresh appeal to nurses to sign a petition condemning cuts to NHS staff and services.

The new figure released today, which has been compiled by analysing weekly reports from RCN activists and staff across England, shows that the effects of the financial crisis in the NHS are worsening. A selection of new cuts to NHS staff and services includes:

  • Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trusts to cut 222 posts from a range of services
  • 1,200 posts and 186 beds to be cut after the merger of two Nottingham hospitals.
  • East and North Herts NHS Trust to cut up to 500 posts at hospitals in Hertfordshire
  • Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust continues efforts to save £33m by cutting services and 600 posts
  • City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust to cut 500 posts
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to cut up to 500 posts
  • Buckinghamshire PCTs who have a large financial deficit, plan to reduce the staff in almost all their community services including almost 50 district nursing posts.

Thousands of nurses have already taken a stand against cuts by pledging their support for the RCN's 'Keep Nurses Working - Keep Patients Safe' campaign and signing the online petition. But with the petition due to be delivered to the Prime Minister in early Autumn, the RCN is now calling on every nurse in the country to sign up and show their support.

General Secretary of the RCN, Dr Beverly Malone, said:

" With an estimated 18,000 posts at risk of being lost to the NHS, the deficits crisis shows no sign of slowing down.

The RCN is fighting hard to keep nurses working and patients safe and whilst we continue to campaign against cuts in the NHS, we can already claim some victories where RCN action has either stopped cuts or reduced them in size and scope. But we will not become complacent - every nurse counts. We will continue to oppose any reactionary or quick fix staffing cuts because we know they will have a direct impact on the quality of patient care."

Nurses can sign the online petition by visiting: www.rcn.org.uk/petition.

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
For more information see http://www.rcn.org.uk.

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