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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)

  • Take a look at the nuffield hospitals , drugs & dressings are provided when needed. In nhs rooms these things are taken in without any thought, then if mrsa ect present . It has to be thrown away.

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  • charge for missed appointments, hospital food (not that many people will buy it anyway), interpreters, taxis, late nurses, ban smoking, a health pack for all school children to keep throughout life, telling them how to stay healthy, check for signs of disease, and how to get help and advice with medical conditions, tax cuts for health food providers, tax cuts for those who exercise regularly, more governemt funded gyms making excercise facilities accessible to all...

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  • Cutting the health tourism would save an awful lot of money. Why, oh why do these people get free care? I'm a flight nurse so I've dealt with many people who've been injured or taken ill abroad. It's routine for them to be charged for their care, for equipment and appliances such as crutches or corsets (the ones used for spinal fractures after skiing accidents are the most common), as well as for medications, dressings, etc. Why, when Brits abroad have to pay for everything, do we not reciprocate?

    I've been with patients who've not been allowed to leave the hospital until they've settled their bill. If other countries can operate it successfully, then so can we and the savings would be substantial.

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  • I have come to the NHS after working for many years in the private sector, and quite frankly have been appalled at some of the incompetence and poor behaviours I have witnessed - at all levels, clinical and non-clinical alike. There are lots of great ideas about - NHS staff love to talk about change - but actually getting people to DO something is another matter.

    Making change happen in the NHS is like swimming in treacle. Performance management is regarded by many as unnecessary or too time-consuming, hence there are no consequences for inappropriate or negative behaviour and thus managers and staff alike are allowed to get away with simply saying ‘no’ when asked to do things differently, if a particular change doesn’t suit them or upsets their cosy existence.

    In the private sector these nay-sayers and blockers would be ‘managed out’ of the organisation and replaced by those more willing to follow the corporate agenda. The NHS will only change once it decides to tackle management capability and take a few more difficult decisions when it comes to people and performance.

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  • forntline workers need to have their numbers increased,but I am sure that the backroom boys can be trimmed down a lot.
    The number of management posts do not appear to be frozen but nursing posts have-thats idiocy.
    There are management posts for everything-Equality &Diversity manager for one-whats that all about,it contributes nowt to patient care but carries a sizable salary.
    Targets have numerous highly paid managers to drive them forward and who mainly detract from good quality care.
    Interpretors the cost of those are scandalous.

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