The warning signs are mounting that cuts to NHS services are starting to have a noticeable impact on patients and the nurses who are attempting to care for them.
The warnings are also mounting that we must learn the lessons of the past if we are to avoid catastrophic care failings.
An investigation this week by Nursing Times reveals the plans made by the most financially challenged trusts in England to make the massive savings required of them. It does not make for cheerful reading - hundreds of posts are earmarked to go and skill-mix reviews are in the offing.
Nigel Edwards, interim chief executive of the NHS Confederation - yes, a management voice - warns those planning the cuts should be mindful of what happened at Mid Staffs after the narrow-sighted pursuit of financial targets over care standards.
Separate figures collected by Nursing Times also reveal that the number of nurse job vacancies advertised on the NHS Jobs website has plummeted to below 1,000.
Taken all together, this evidence should start alarms bells well and truly ringing, especially when added to last month’s King’s Fund warning that NHS waiting times are at their highest level for three years and news that a Conservative peer, Baroness Staples, had to wait for nearly five hours on a trolley at St Thomas’.
This week the bell should also ring a bit louder as Unison is due to reveal results from a survey of 2,500 nurses - 80% of whom say managers are making cuts.
So far, however, the government seems determined to turn a deaf ear to the cuts - while apparently prepared to listen with the other to concerns about its reform agenda. But ministers must be made to take their earplugs out. As last month’s RCN Congress showed, the profession has a very loud voice when it wants to.
We know reducing nursing staff numbers and diluting its skill mix has a negative impact on morbidity and mortality. The consequences if the cuts continue do not bear thinking about.