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Thousands of PCT jobs to go

By Ian Quinn

PCTs and health boards across the UK have begun slashing thousands of managerial and frontline clinical posts, with 50,000 jobs facing the axe across the NHS.

A report by the TUC's False Economy campaign used Freedom of Information requests to draw up a picture of the massive job cuts looming as the NHS struggles to make efficiency savings.

A raft of PCOs revealed plans, including NHS Hertfordshire, which forecast reducing its nursing, midwifery and clinical support staff by nearly 1,200 posts over the next five years.

NHS Oxfordshire said it planned to reduce staff by 1,900 by 2014, including clinical and non-clinical posts, while NHS Leicester City said its ‘worst case scenario' would see 260 staff go, with ‘reductions likely in both clinical and non-clinical areas.'

The total confirmed, planned and potential NHS staff cuts across the country currently stand at just over 53,150 posts, said the TUC. A host of trusts are also expected to announce further redundancies over the next four months, including all Wales' health boards.

BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘We agree absolutely that slashing posts represents a false economy. Even cuts to 'back-room' staff frequently have an impact on clinical workers, who have to pick up the administrative burden.'

‘Cutting staff or services is not the only, nor the best, way to save money in the NHS. There needs to be a much greater focus on reducing waste.'

However a spokesperson for the Department of Health insisted it did not recognise the figures.

‘They do not take into account the rises in clinical consortia jobs, those in social enterprises or the rises we are beginning to see in health visitors. There are nearly 2,500 more doctors, more nurses and more midwives - and 2,000 fewer managers since May.'

PCT job cuts

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