NHS job losses grow - as does opposition

NHS job losses
job losses

According to health union Unison nearly 7,000 job losses have now been announced across the NHS - with more to come.

Submitted by libcom on April 8, 2006

They include a 1,000 posts at NHS Direct and North Staffs University Hospital Trust, 160 at Medway NHS Trusts in Kent and 300 at the Royal United Hospital, Bath. At the Royal Cornwall Unison have vowed to ballot all its members for industrial action if a single compulsory redundancy is announced, while in Stoke the local NHS Save our Service campaign has called for a national demonstration against job cuts on 29 April starting at the town's hospital.

Meanwhile BBC news reported that Cottage hospitals in Jedburgh and Coldstream are being recommended for closure by NHS Borders. Its board members agreed the move as part of a strategy of major changes in health provision for the region.

Campaigners against the move have vowed to fight on as the plan now goes to the health minister for final approval. NHS Borders has proposed a palliative care bed in Jedburgh and extra beds in Kelso in order to cope with the two cottage hospital closures.

The decision came after a lengthy debate on a package of health measures for the Scottish Borders. These include a new emergency care centre at Borders General Hospital, a shake-up in mental health services and a greater focus on care in the home. Despite considerable public protest, however, the NHS board decided there was no room in their "Fit for the Future" plans for the cottage hospitals.

The move has provoked an angry reaction with Tory MSP Derek Brownlee calling on the Scottish Executive to veto the proposal. Scottish National Party MSP Christine Grahame claimed NHS Borders had shown contempt for local people in its actions.

The proposals will now go to Health Minister Andy Kerr for final approval.