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Nick Clegg asks staff for ideas on NHS cuts


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.”


Readers' comments (25)

  • Here's a few ideas....

    Trust directors, executives, non clinical managers and middle managers, anyone in a bloody suit who has nothing to do with clinical care!

    Scaling back clinical management.

    All these stupid ideas such as private finance initiatives for new hospitals which would cost the NHS billions over the next few years.

    Using a bit of common sense and increasing spending on Nurse wages and staffing levels, and therefore increasing staff moral/retention and quality of care, and decreasing the money spent in compo payouts.

    I have a hundred other ideas but they should get the gist of things from this. It isn't rocket science is it?

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  • A lot of money is wasted on quangos/consultancy and rebranding. I can also think of several examples where a ward has been modified to create extra rooms (at a huge cost - not just building costs but also cost of having to put patients in private beds whilst work being done)then suddenly the ward is closed down. An obscene waste of money. Recruitment is another expensive exercise. Very hard to recruit decent clinical staff in some areas. I do worry that we are going to lose a lot of good quality staff to the private sector if the government messes around with the NHS pension. For heavens sake - it's the only perk!

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  • I agree that recruitment is too expensive. It also takes forever and wastes everyone's time. Nowadays we do need background checks etc but what on earth do that time and money wasting industry called Human Resources do all day? Getting expensive and unnecessary recruitment consultants to do their work. What used to be a fairly simple task of advertising, interviewing and getting the much needed chosen applicant into the position ASAP is now a huge and infuriating waste of time and money. Unfortunately it seems to be a universal problem tthat has crept in gradually over recent years and become the accepted norm.

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  • tinkerbell

    thoroughly agree with all of the above, get rid of the suits with their shiney arses from sitting about all day in meetings in which nothing is ever achieved. Get rid of all unnecessary rebranding and name changes, every time a trust changes its name all the ambulances, signs and paperwork has to be redone at huge cost that doesn't make any difference but wastes hunreds of thousands of pounds. Get rid of the wastage of medications that are repeatedly prescribed whilst folk stock pile them in cupboards or throw them away. Get rid of a lot of the bureacracy, triplicate and duplicate copies of paperwork and let nurses get back on with the job or nursing. SOS! The NHS is a huge machine that is coming to a slow, grinding halt because of the continuous meddling of management and different governments. Back off and let us have time to spend with the patients.

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  • Marjorie Lloyd

    How about getting people to do the job they are paid to do - including politicians.
    If you ask a mechanic to fix your car you expect them to fix your car and not ask you how to do it!
    I think this is a very insulting kick in the teeth following a pay freeze - like people are going to want to get involved now?

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  • Here's one.Why doesn't the Right Honourable sell out cut up his own contract with the British public about upholding the intrinsic values of his party and just...go away? Leave us alone.

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  • I totally agree about bloody human resources! They are an incompetent bunch of wasters who do noone any good!

    It took me 5 months from interview to my first day in the post I am in now. 5 bloody months! I mean what the hell takes that long? In the meantime there were constant letters, phone calls, emails, and trips to the HR department which was miles away from the hospital to sort out the admin. I was getting screwed over for 5 months, but hey they got to sit on their arses and claim almost half a years salary for doing not much at all!

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  • They need to do something about medication wastage, it is criminal that unopened medication and dressing that have been in patients homes cannot be taken back to a phamacist and reissued. This would save millions I am sure.

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  • Mostly the usual uninformed bleating then. The bloke goes to the trouble of asking how we can save cash by consulting the shop floor and all you can come up with is sack the suits and employ more nurses, plus a little partisan bigotry. If only the labour party got elected again the country wouldn't be forced to take part in an emergency stock check, oh wait....

    It's only ever about 'hand's on'. Clowns.

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  • Nick - I don't believe it is necessary to make the majority of these cuts at all if the government collected all the unpaid tax and fined the merchant banks and confiscated the bonuses for the rest.
    Thankyou for asking though.

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