Hospital workers have been asked by Nick Clegg for their thoughts on which areas of the health service should be cut.
At Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, Mr Clegg talked of the “terrible challenge” of somehow making cuts without depleting the NHS at the front line.
Some workers said they felt reassured by what Mr Clegg told them, but others were not so sure and branded Mr Clegg’s request for cuts suggestions as a gimmick
However, the Liberal Democrat leader said: “That is really, really not our intention. We are adamant at looking at these suggestions seriously.”
Unconvinced that cuts would not damage the NHS and asked if he was reassured by what Mr Clegg said, union representative Dino Williams said: “Not really. We are not reassured.”
The staff side chairman said it was unfair that the public sector will “bear the brunt” for an economic crisis largely caused by banks.
Other workers, however, seemed to accommodate the notion that health provision would not necessarily be damaged by budget cuts.
Cardiothoracic services general manager Nick Kirby insisted: “It is essential that we maintain the standard but we can make further savings without compromising quality.”
He added: “The NHS is in an extremely strong position, stronger than ever before and there is real opportunity to look at how we can innovate.”