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Public health budget cuts “could cripple frontline services”

19 February 2010

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Public sector health managers have warned against budget cuts, which they say could cripple frontline services and damage health and morale of staff.

More than two-thirds of the 1,500 managers questioned said they suffered budget cuts in the past year and 90% expected jobs and training to be hit with major cuts in the next 12 months. Higher workloads, lower morale, increased stress and reduced quality of service were predicted by most if cuts went ahead.

There were “widespread concern” about the effect of centrally imposed budget cuts, said the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), which carried out the survey.

Penny de Valk, Chief Executive of the ILM, said: “Despite concern about the impact of cuts there are positive signs here. It is heartening to see that public sector managers are up for the challenge that awaits them, and confident they can achieve major savings through greater innovation and more effective performance management.

“Rather than having their budgets salami-sliced from afar, managers need the freedom and support to deliver radical changes to service delivery. The question is whether government, senior management and policy makers will enable them to do so.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Department of Health

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