RCN chief issues warning over NHS job cutsThe leader of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has expressed concern over plans to cut healthcare jobs as part of the government’s ongoing austerity drive, warning lives could be put at risk.

Writing in an article for the Observer, RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter pointed out that more than 27,000 roles may go as a result of the reduction in public spending, with the NHS tasked with making £20 billion of efficiency savings.

“The worry is that we have seen time and again what happens when staffing levels are slashed without thinking of the impact on patient care,” he explained. “There is no doubt care will suffer.”

However, a Department of Health representative insisted the reforms are “a necessity” and stated that GP commissioning consortia will have the power to take action where failings in patient care are identified.

Earlier this week, a report from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development warned the impact of public sector redundancies could be greater than feared, driving unemployment to 2.7 million in 2011.

Posted by Cameron Thomson