Nursing posts fall in cull of NHS staff
Published: 21st Mar 2012 10:25:49
NHS staff numbers in England have seen their biggest drop in a decade with nursing posts among those culled, official figures show.
The workforce declined by nearly 20,000 - 1.4% - in 2011 to 1,350,000.
Most of the drop related to support and managerial staff, but nurse numbers also fell by 1% - despite promises by ministers to protect the frontline.
It comes after NHS finance chiefs have been told they need to find even more savings than expected.
The health service has been working on the basis that £20bn of efficiency savings needed to be identified by 2015 to cope with the growing demands related to the ageing population and lifestyle factors such as obesity.
But NHS finance chiefs are now working on the basis that a similar amount will have to be found in the following spending period because of the squeeze on public finances.
It is understood they were told the productivity drive would have to continue beyond 2015 in recent meetings with senior Department of Health officials.
Professor Chris Ham, the chief executive of the King's Fund think-tank, said: "It promises to be an even more challenging period for the NHS than expected."
The decline in the workforce figures - released by the NHS Information Centre - have been partly expected because thousands of managers and admin staff have been made redundant in primary care trusts which are being abolished under the government's reforms.
In total, support staff numbers fell by nearly 14,000 in the year to September 2011 - a fall of 6%.
Manager posts saw the single biggest decline, dropping by 9% to 38,0000.
But nurse posts also reduced - something unions had been warning would happen. The total employed fell by nearly 3,500, 1% of the total.
However, GP and consultant numbers rose and overall staff numbers are still up by more than a fifth from a decade ago.
Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the figures were "incredibly worrying" and the situation was only going to get worse.
He added: "Despite the rhetoric, we know that frontline jobs are not being protected and NHS trusts must stop making cuts in a quick fix attempt to save money.
"Put bluntly, the idea that cutting hundreds of jobs from a hospital will not affect the care of patients is ludicrous."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Nursing posts fall in cull of NHS staff [Online] (Updated 21st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1417762/Nursing-posts-fall-in-cull-of-NHS-staff [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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