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Managers believe cuts would damage staff health and morale


Budget cuts could “cripple” frontline public services and damage staff health and morale, managers have warned.

A survey of 1,500 managers showed that two-thirds believed their staff were operating at full capacity with little or no room for efficiency savings.

The Institute of Leadership and Management said its study revealed “widespread concern” among public sector managers about the effect of centrally imposed budget cuts.

More than two out of three of those questioned said they had suffered budget cuts in the past year and nine out of 10 expected “major” cuts in the next year, hitting jobs and training.

Most of those polled predicted higher workloads, lower morale, increased stress and reduced quality of service if cuts went ahead.

Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership and Management, said: “Despite concern about the impact of cuts there are positive signs here. It is heartening to see that public sector managers are up for the challenge that awaits them, and confident they can achieve major savings through greater innovation and more effective performance management.

“Rather than having their budgets salami-sliced from afar, managers need the freedom and support to deliver radical changes to service delivery. The question is whether government, senior management and policy makers will enable them to do so.”


Readers' comments (6)

  • I think many NHS staff will concur with this, as many NHS services are already suffering with extremely high workloads, staffing shortages, old or poor equipment that cannot be replaced due to reduced budgets and a lack of resources. Already far too many nurses and doctors stay on and work after their shifts have finished just to try and get tasks done.
    I'm not sure about other public services (although it's probably the same story) but if we face many more budget cuts it will certainly become dangerous and patients lives will be put at risk.

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  • I think 'full stretch' descibes the situation better and yet misses the great gaping hole that is staff shortage and patient safety.

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  • I too have to agree with the findings. Staff are pushed to the limit now. Recently my friends grandmother was in hospital, we both visited and watched the nurses trying to cope with a huge workload, patients unable to feed themselves were not being fed due to staff shortages, not because nurses did not care. It saddens me that the government are considering further cuts, yet they were more than happy to bail out the banks. The nursing, medical and other allied professionals work above and beyond what they are meant to do. Further cuts in my own personal opinion will lead to mistakes and ill health on staff ie stress, anxiety, on what is already a stretched service not only for nurses but all of the allied health professionals and doctors

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  • Bravo this debate is as old as the hills but no one ever listens. Why is this being brought up suddenly now in the 21st centuary? And why are these managers who just sit and talk about it not rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the work of caring for patients?

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  • There are far too many nurses/so-called managers who just prefer to sit around all day and talk about what is wrong with the services provided to patients and their working conditions instead of getting on with the job of providing patient care so those working with dedication at the front line are to few and are damaging their health through physical and mental stress due to poor staffing levels and lack of adequate funding. It is those who actually work who suffer and not those who sit around talking about it!

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  • Here, here, to all of the above. I am currently signed off with stress and depression, awaiting counselling. We are pushed to the limit on wards, not just occasionally, but permanently. To understand what we do, the politicians need to walk a mile in our shoes ( so to speak ) for just one day. Then they would understand just what we are up against. Fund the frontline, not measure managers performance!

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