Published on 21/11/2011
Nearly 50,000 jobs in the NHS in England are under threat or have already gone, according to a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) report.
The RCN has been monitoring job cuts since April 2010. In total, 48,029 positions have either being lost already or are due to be cut by March 2015.
In total, the figure represents 3.5% of the 1.4million people employed by the NHS. 48,029 is the equivalent of shutting four large hospital trusts.
RCN chief executive Peter Carter said the scale of the cuts could have a "deep and potentially dangerous impact on patient care".
"Staffing levels should be based on rigorous clinical evidence and should not be arbitrarily lowered in a short-sighted effort to save money."
The report also warns that the total would rise in the coming months as the figure was based on evidence from less than half the trusts in the country.
Cuts include all types of staff from administrators and porters to doctors and nurses. Many of these posts do not involve redundancies, as the NHS is not replacing staff that leave or retire.
The RCN also carried out an in-depth look at 41 trusts where cuts were being made. In total, nearly half of the posts under threat were clinical, and the scale of the cutbacks represented nearly a tenth of the workforce on average. In the worst cases over 20% of the workforce was due to be culled.
These finds could be an indication that the NHS cannot achieve £20bn of efficiency savings by 2015 as planned. The NHS has already been under fire for neglecting the elderly due to lack of staff.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011Categories: NHS and Hospitals