The Independent London Newspaper

 

‘Devastating’ cuts in hospital jobs spark emergency protest - Barts and London Hospital set for rally

Published: 11 February 2011
by TOM FOOT

AN emergency protest has been called today (Friday) after massive job cuts were announced at Barts and the London Hospital.

Protesters will rally outside the Royal London Hospital – part of the Barts group – opposite Whitechapel tube from noon. 

The prestigious NHS trust has announced ­proposals to axe 630 jobs – including 250 nurses – and 100 beds.

Despite Conservative pre-election promises that NHS budgets would be protected in the spending review, Barts bosses are making sweeping changes in a desperate bid to plug a huge shortfall in funding.

All expenditure is under review to make sure every penny spent was “truly essential and represents best value”.

The trust is aiming to save £30million each year by sacking 10 per cent of its nurses, stripping 100 beds and deleting 290 corporate and back-office roles. 

The plan is for 200 compulsory redundancies, with the rest expected to leave their jobs on a voluntarily basis.

A spokesman said: “By changing the way we work, we can reduce our staffing levels at the same time as improving quality. We do not expect any compulsory redundancies among frontline clinical staff.”

Some nurses may not considered to be on the “frontline” in the jargon-speak world of NHS bureaucrats, but Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said the threat to the day-to-day running of the health service was “outrageous”.

In a statement, he said: “The idea that such a thing could be done without seriously jeopardising patient care is ludicrous.”

Today’s demonstration is called by Keep Our NHS Public, Hands Off Our Public Services and the Right to Work Campaign.

A spokesman for Right to Work Campaign said: “The austerity measures, which the 

cuts facing the NHS are a part of, are an attempt to make working-class people pay for a crisis caused by the rich. This emergency protest has been called to mark the announcement of these cuts, to mark the breadth of feeling that they will be devastating and that they are not necessary.”

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