Many people have lost their jobs with the NHS in the last quarter of 2006.The total number of employees in the NHS is 11000 less, as per official statistics. The job-cuts may be good for the NHS bottom line, but will eventually take a toll on patient care.
Most of the redundant positions belong to the non-medical category. Nevertheless, for those who have lost their jobs and for those who need to take on the additional load, it would be indeed be frustrating. A better strategy will be to evolve a pragmatic recovery programme rather than to resort to drastic job-cuts.
In the words of Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), "These alarming figures confirm what the RCN has long been warning - that deficits are leading to serious cuts in the NHS workforce." According to him, the adopted measures are bound to negatively impact patients and services.
While reiterating that the numbers, spanning the whole of UK are only an estimation, the Department of Health spokesman said "We must get this in context, there are 1.36 million staff working in the NHS, and since 1997 the workforce has increased by 306,702.Between September 2004 and 2005 the NHS workforce increased by 34,301. Where workforce reductions are taking place, trusts are managing through natural wastage, vacancy freezes and redeploying staff in different ways and we are now moving away from annual growth in the NHS workforce to a steady state, where there is a closer match between affordable demand and supply."
Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, has attributed these job-cuts to mis-management on the part of the labor government. The employment scenario for fresh nursing graduates and physiotherapists is rather bleak due to these developments.