NHS 'will not cut workforce'A recent recommendation that the NHS should cut its workforce by ten per cent – which could result in an increase in redundancies – has been branded “political suicide” by one sector commentator.

The recommendations were made in a recent McKinsey report, however, the Department of Health said that the government does not believe that cutting the NHS workforce is the correct solution for improving the NHS.

A recruitment freeze is one option on the table, but the McKinsey report, which was leaked to the Health Service Journal, apparently  suggests that £600 million could be saved by reducing non-clinical managerial and support staff in those trusts with numbers higher than the average. Medical and nursing staff would also face cuts.

Ministers have claimed they have rejected the report and that maternity, nursing and primary care departments actually need an increase in recruitment, rather than a workforce cut.  The recommendations were not the right answer, nor would they be in the future, claimed the Government.

A recent report by the NHS Confederation claimed the NHS is facing a severe contraction in its finance, with an £8 to £10 billion real terms cut likely in the three years from 2011.

Commenting on the news, Michael Sobanja, chief executive of the NHS Alliance, said he believed the recommendation was “utter nonsense and very unlikely to be picked up by either political party as it would probably represent political suicide”.