Up to 60,000 NHS jobs to be lost

OWOS has been continuing to conducting research into the radical upheaval that is now being wrought on the NHS as extra “savings” of £20 billion have to be made from NHS Trusts this parliament – 21,000 jobs have already gone in the NHS since the coalition has come to power, including over 6,000 qualified nursing posts.

With a possible total of 60,000 jobs at risk over the next few years Along with declining staff morale, the haemorrhaging of talent from the NHS and increased workloads of the staff; the NHS is further “sleepwalking” into a nursing crisis with thousands of frontline posts already lost and training positions axed, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warns of nursing shortages within three years as thousands of training posts are slashed and also of falling standards of care and patient safety. OWOS has talked to district nurses who are expected to be at the brunt of re-focusing care from hospitals to the community and therefore essential for improving patient “outcomes” and saving money – but numbers continue to be cut having to cope with an ageing population and an increasing number of long-term conditions to be treated inevitably standards have fallen.

Also as NHS contracts are awarded to private companies such as Circle, Virgin Health and Care UK job losses will be harder to track, as these private companies will not have to submit such data to the NHS Information Centre, or have the workforce plans available for public scrutiny. www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2144116/NHS-Hospital-cutbacks-left-nurse-18-patients.html

The Government introduced the Health & Social Care Bill to widespread opposition, in particular from all the areas of the medical profession, but even after reviews ,a listening period and independent critiques of the Bill, the Government still persisted on progressing with its changes – It is apparent from the Governments obstinacy to change its course, the reasons are not improvements in efficiency or better quality standards, but profits for business – Welcome to the end of a truly national health service (http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/allyson-pollock-david-price-peter-roderick-tim-treuherz-david-mccoy-martin-mckee-lucy-rey)

The NHS has suffered from decades of constant erosion through botched change after change. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/09/nhs-history-reforms-health-policy)

Since the Coalition came to power we have lost 6,000 nurses from the NHS and there are another 2,500 more estimated to go, by the Royal College of Nursing (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9063039/Ed-Miliband-cost-of-health-Bill-could-pay-for-6000-nurses.html) (http://fullfact.org/factchecks/NHS_qualified_nurses_6000_reforms-3293)

This is the beginning of a cycle of upheaval and cuts – and is the reason why Our World Our Say opposes the Health and Social Care Act for five clear reasons

1. The Act is costing, at latest estimates, £2 billion to implement The government estimated the cost of implementing the Health and Social Care Act at £1.3 billion, Labour claimed £3.5 billion, independent analysts estimate at least £2 billion. All money we can ill afford to spend at this time (http://fullfact.org/factchecks/NHS_reorganisation_transition_costs_PCT_allocations-3298) The claims that the Act will save money in the long run are paper thin, the Parliamentary health committee has stated that it is only likely if standards of care are cut. £1 billion is being spent on redundancy for managers, only for many to be rehired as consultants. Whilst OWOS conducted its own research with NHS staff, identifying waste and spending associated with the pre-implementation of the Act at all levels of service NHS Impact Assessment (http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_123582.pdf?) 2. More bureaucracy Formerly the NHS was run by three levels of management 1. The Department of Health 2. Strategic Health Authorities 3. Primary Care Trusts. Under the Act that has been replaced by seven: 1. The Department of Health 2. NHS Commissioning Board 3. Strategic Health Authority clusters 4. Commissioning Support Organisations 5. Clinical Commissioning Groups 6. Clinical Senates 7. HealthWatch. Plus the creation of two further quangos – Monitor and the NHS Board “At a national level, it is difficult to see who, if anyone, will be in charge of the NHS.” – Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund 3. Your waiting time will be longer– unless you go private Hospitals are allowed to allocate up to half of their beds to private patients under the Act and also reduces the guarantees on NHS waiting times. 4 Standards of care will depend on where you live The Act breaks up the NHS removing national standards. There will be countrywide variations in treatments available on the NHS, some people may even have to pay for private treatment for conditions that would have previously received NHS treatment, whilst Scotland and Wales will continue to provide services denied to patients in England. 5 Profit not medical treatment will be the priority Private companies will be in control, nominally called Commissioning Support Organisations (CSO’s) they will plan and commission healthcare, even though the Act says GP’s undertake this task, leaked papers have shown the government expects private companies called to take over this role. (http://www.nhsca.org.uk/docs/cliveprivate.pdf) However even if it were the GP’s undertaking the role, it is a highly complex duty and should not be done as an add on to patient care. CSOs will decide how care is delivered but there will be no democratic control over them. www.nhshistory.net/ www.nhshistory.net/NHS-flowchartforweb.jpg www.nhshistory.net/shorthistory.htm www.nhshistory.net/a_guide_to_the_nhs.htm www.nhswatch.blogspot.com www.keephospitalsopen.co.uk/ www.keepournhspublic.com/index.php www.sochealth.co.uk/ www.tuc.org.uk/theme/index.cfm?theme=nhstogether www.nhscampaign.org/ www.patient-experience.com/index.php/keep-our-nhs-public-andrew-lansleys-health-and-social-care-bill-is-this-the-beginning-of-privitisation-of-the-national-health-service/