NHS faces job cuts as financial crisis deepensBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7544.743 (Published 30 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:743
- Michael Day
The NHS was last week engulfed in a political storm over spiralling debts and mounting job losses. In the space of seven days, hospital trusts announced that nearly 3000 jobs were to be axed, as the financial crisis deepened. By the beginning of this week health economists were predicting a total end of year deficit of £800m (€1.2bn; $1.4bn).
One of the country's leading teaching hospitals, the Royal Free in north London, announced that 480 jobs would go, while the axe will fall most heavily at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, which is preparing to shed up to 1000 staff.
The opposition Conservative Party predicted that in total more than 20 000 NHS posts were under threat. The shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said, “There is a financial crisis, and they don't know how to cope with it.”
The health secretary Patricia Hewitt hit back, accusing the Conservatives of seeking to undermine the NHS by exaggerating the gravity of the …