Fears for patient care

A NURSING union fears patient care and waiting lists will be hit as hospital leaders are set to make cuts to their wage bill.

The Health Service Journal has analysed the three-year workforce plans of all Foundation Trusts in England and found that most are planning substantial cuts to their workforces.

The Royal College of Nursing says the figures show North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will cut its wage bill by 1.5 per cent between 2011 and 2014.

Estephanie Dunn, the union’s acting regional director for the Northern Region, said: “This confirms what the RCN has been saying for some time, namely that despite the Government pretending that the NHS budget is protected, in reality they are forcing Trusts to make significant cuts of a magnitude not seen for more than a generation.”

Last month, the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust announced it has to find £40 million savings from its £260m budget.