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Union issues warning over NHS workforce reduction

4 June 2010

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Health service unions have warned that the NHS workforce in Scotland could be left demoralised and overstretched by the extent of job cuts proposed for this year.

A total of 3,800 jobs are to be axed across the NHS in Scotland in 2010, with the country’s two biggest health boards absorbing more than half of the cuts.

NHS workforce projections showed 1,252 staff will be cut at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, including 553 nurse and midwifery posts. NHS Lothian will suffer 734 job cuts, including 33 nurses, while NHS Grampian (577) and NHS Tayside (495) will also be heavily hit.

Unison Scotland health committee chair Tam Waterson said the cuts will “impact on vital health services”, although the Scottish government said there would be no compulsory redundancies, with staff who retire or leave not being replaced.

The Royal College of Nursing said registered nurses were already being replaced with unregistered nursing assistants to save money.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “The reality is that NHS budgets are tight and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. It is my job to ensure the NHS delivers the best quality of care, manages the financial challenges facing it and takes the right decisions now to secure services in the future.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Unison Scotland