A masterpiece of prose from the BBC this morning. 525 words designed to make you think that your health may be affected by your stupidity in electing a Con-Dem government – and they don’t use the word nurse once.
The Conservatives promised they would protect ‘front-line’ services. The BBC is fighting a rear guard action likely to make you think they are breaking their word.
So, from their Health ‘reporter’, Nick Triggle we get:
The NHS is bracing itself for a “brutal” round of cuts – and staff fear they are in the firing line.
Staff note, not nurses, not Doctors. That outreach co-ordinator for the Lesbian-Gay Alliance of Tattooed Drag artistes who want cosmetic surgery may find that her job is at risk.
Several major hospitals have already said posts will go and more announcements are expected soon.
Posts note not nurses, not Doctors. The secretary to the outreach co-ordinator for the etc., etc., may need to find something more useful to do with her time.
To help fund the cuts, the BBC has learned a £2bn pot is being set aside in England to pay for one-off costs, such as redundancies and redeployments.
Not being thrown out penniless in the summer snow then?
Managers were told by the Department of Health before the election to hold the money back from the front-line.
Oh, you mean that this was a planned Nu-Labour cut? Why didn’t you say so then, so coy…’before the election’.
Staff working in hospitals are particularly vulnerable because much of their budget – two-thirds in some cases – is accounted for by labour costs.
And where ‘labour costs’ is a euphemism for caring nurses plumping pillows and holding the hand of frightened elderly patients before surgery, I don’t expect to see any change; those outreach co-ordinators would be well advised to check the vacancies in the packing department at Argos before the rush starts.
Southampton Hospitals Trust is shedding 400 posts this year and 200 next.
Posts again – any nurses included in that number? Nah, you’d have had them sobbing all over the six o’clock news if there were, wouldn’t you.
And in a briefing to staff, seen by the BBC, bosses warned there could be similar levels of cuts from the 8,000-strong workforce in years to come.
‘Work-force’ this time, inventive. Got a Thesaurus have you?
Andrew Lansley told the BBC last week the coalition government wanted to see efficiency savings, but claimed this did not necessarily equate to cuts.
Only ‘claimed’, you can’t be sure that he meant what he said? Shall we wait and see before we cry wolf? After all:
Meanwhile, Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, which includes Addenbrooke’s, and Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital have both asked staff who want to leave to put themselves forward for a pay-off.
But the existence of the £2bn fund in England has prompted speculation that staff are set to face the brunt of the measures.
Speculation – is that what the BBC reports as news these days? Care to tell us who’s speculating?
Michael Sobanja, of the NHS Alliance, which represents staff working outside hospitals, agreed. “I think it is pretty clear headcount will drop. The NHS is facing a pretty brutal time.”
‘Headcount’ – that Thesaurus is working overtime.
John Lister, of Health Emergency, a union-funded pressure group, added: “It is unavoidable staff will be hit and, in turn, patients. We are braced for a series of cuts, which will be the worst for many years.”
Ah two Union reps, well they would know wouldn’t they. Perhaps taking money out of nursing patients to pay the wages of speculating union reps might be a good place for the axe to fall first.