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St George's hospital 'to cut 500 posts'


A large London teaching hospital has said it does not yet know where the axe will fall in response to union claims it is cutting posts.

Unison has said 500 posts, including those of nurses and consultants, will go at St George’s Healthcare Trust in south London and that three wards will also close.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The shock waves will be felt in hospitals across London and beyond. Only two weeks ago Barts and the London announced 630 job losses, including 250 nurses and 100 beds cut.”

A spokeswoman for the trust in south London could not confirm how many frontline nursing posts would be lost among the total identified by Unison, but said trust “hopes to avoid” compulsory redundancies.

She said: “St George’s Healthcare is not immune from the financial challenges currently facing the wider NHS and we have been open with staff and unions about the need to achieve £55m savings during 2011-12.

“We cannot speculate at this stage on the exact number, or nature, of posts that will need to go.”

She added: “Our main focus is to reduce our temporary staffing bill, which is currently £30m per year, and we are also reviewing non-clinical services.”

Jane Pilgrim, Unison nursing representative at St Georges Hospital, said: “We were told by the government that there would be no cuts in frontline posts but in reality the NHS is witnessing swingeing cuts to frontline services every day.” 

The trust will take over the provision of community services from NHS Wandsworth in April under the government’s Transforming Community Services programme.

Data from the NHS Information Centre showed the hospital trust had a headcount of 2,490 nursing and midwifery staff in October.


Readers' comments (6)

  • They may not be willing to give figures but nurses will be part of the 500 posts lost. At the same time we are being told that we are lazy and uncaring towards our patients. Morale is starting to wane quickly. I am not even qualified yet and I am wondering why I am bothering.

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  • "NHS hospitals begin axing frontline staff despite government pledgeTwo major hospitals shed hundreds of jobs despite repeated government pledges to protect NHS services, Thursday 17 February 2011 21.19 GMT
    Denis Campbell, health correspondent"

    Is this a panic reaction? Is it really necessary? Will it actually save any money? There is no mention of cutting any administrative posts or cutbacks in any other resources.

    Cutting frontline staff seems very short sighted because of the increased pressure this will put on the already overstretched staff who remain? Or will patients simply be turned away? Maybe there will need to be a total rethink on how care is to be delivered in the future and to whom!

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  • All I can say is God help the elderly people who are admitted to St George's hospital. The Ombudsman reports poor practice and yet here we are cutting jobs. How can nurses expect to provide even adqequate care if there are not enough of them? Fair enough, some nurses are just not up to standard (for a variety of reasons) but most nurses are doing their best.

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  • isn't logistics a question of simple mathematics?

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  • It is very sad that whenever quality of nursing care is discussed especially in the media, nobody mentions staffing.

    How can we provide quality of care when the people who are supposed to provide the care are not there? Ask those who have worked in Australia, Newzealand, etc. and they will tell you how it feels to have adequate staff on wards so that you can provide the care that you have been trained to provide. Of course, it is not everybody who can and will want to travel and work in these countries for various reasons. But those who can will not wait for the cuts to bite.

    A nurse who appeared on the "Down Under Programme" a couple of years ago described nursing on our wards as being buzzer, buzzer, buzzer...... No time for proper assessment, no time to feed patients well, no time to have one-to-one conversation with patients as I was trained to do.

    There is simply not enough of us to do the job we have been trained to do. It is very sad.

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  • Ok Hands up who voted tory or lib-dem at the last election? Anybody here got the guts to admit it? If you work for the NHS and voted tory then you really should be ashamed of yourself (plus book youself a neurology appt..cos you need one!).

    cameron has lied. That is the normal for tories. The NHS goes against everything their political ethos stands for. You voted the scum-bag in and now you'll reap his tory values. Hopefully him and his govt will get what's coming to them.

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