Posts Tagged ‘spending choices’

Labour needs to be honest about tough spending choices in the NHS

19/07/2012, 07:00:28 AM

by Peter Watt

It has been a particularly tough few months in the NHS.  Setting aside the impact of the NHS and Social Care Act (2012), the impact of the freezing of budgets is being well and truly felt.  Every week sees another story of a hospital or a patient group in crisis or expressing concern.

July seems to have been particularly difficult.  Early in the month we saw the South London Healthcare NHS Trust being put into administration.  The Trust consists of three hospitals – Princess Royal in Orpington, Queen Mary’s in Sidcup and the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and serves more than one million people.

And then this week the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium, a group of 19 hospitals in the south west, were shown to be planning to cut the pay and conditions of up to 60,000 staff in order to balance tight budgets.  The headlines all warned of doctors and nurses being sacked and of pay and conditions being cut.  I had a special interest as one of the hospitals in the consortium, Poole, was where I nursed and I still have friends there.

According to their project initiation document, the consortium has come together in order to:

“…assist Trusts across the South West in modernising  pay, terms and conditions to ensure that they  are ‘fit for purpose’ going forward.”

In other words they are hoping to challenge national pay and conditions for their staff as a way of bearing down on their staffing costs.  Specifically they are exploring a number of options such as reducing anti-social hour’s payments, some degree of reward for performance for incremental progression, reducing holiday entitlement, increasing hours and reductions in pay for staff on over £21,000.


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