Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (July 16th 2012) called on local NHS Health Trusts managing hospitals on Teesside to ‘come clean’ over whether they may be planning job cuts.
“Over the weekend it became public that a consortium of 19 health trusts in the South West of England are saying that thousands of their doctors and nurses may be sacked unless they agree to drastic changes to their pay and conditions as these hospital trusts strive to make billions of pounds worth of savings. These bosses have suggested terminating all staff contracts and re-offering them on different terms which could include pay cuts of up to 5%, an end to overtime for nights, weekends and bank holidays, and reduced holiday leave.
“To make this worse, Government health ministers will not be intervening to stop this, with the government merely saying “NHS providers have long had the power to employ staff on such terms that they consider appropriate… This means employers are free to negotiate any changes to national agreements”
“The press are also suggesting that other trusts – faced with crippling financial cuts being forced on them – are looking at the same approach. I know that local Health Trusts on Teesside have been heavily affected by these financial pressures, and we are seeing in at least one trust – the South Tees Hospitals Trust – ward closures at Guisborough and at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. I think it is crucial that all the NHS trusts on Teesside come clean and say whether they are looking at possible staff sackings or reduction in wages. Such actions cannot be allowed to happen. Some staff skills are already in high demand, and some health professionals, if they are faced with wage cuts, will simply vote with their feet – and that will impact on patients and their families.
“All this just serves to reinforce the message that you can’t trust the Tories to protect the NHS.”