Marlyn Glen MSP

500 jobs cut at NHS Tayside : "Health service already at full stretch," says MSP

12 July 2010

Marlyn Glen has received more detailed information from NHS Tayside on how it intends to save over £11 million in staffing costs as part of its plan to shed almost 500 jobs in the present year.

She had written to the health board for these details as they apply to nursing posts, midwifery posts, and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, and what the number of posts lost will be, expressed in both headcount and whole-time equivalent terms.

Responding , the health board provided details of the numbers in the various bands of staffing affected.

In nursing and midwifery bands 5 +, 95 full-time posts are to be lost, representing a 2.5 per cent reduction in the numbers in that particular group.

In nursing and midwifery bands 1 to 4 ( which include nursing and healthcare assistants) 62 full time posts are being lost, representing a 4.8 per cent reduction.

Amongst allied health professionals 45 full-time posts will be lost, representing a 5.4 per cent reduction.

Amongst Healthcare Scientists, 24 fulltime posts will go, representing a 4.5 per cent reduction in that group.

NHS Tayside said that the projected reductions described wouldl be made by natural turnover with the assurance of no compulsory redundancy.

Ms, Glen had asked for details of the number of registered nursing posts that would be filled by substituting with non-registered support staff.

The health board said that their template was based upon natural turnover and cannot be assigned to particular posts or bands.

They said that they require skills at all levels across the career framework and strive to enable their staff to achieve their potential .

As an organisation they valued all contributions to care and service and this enabled them to have a workforce which reflected the population they served, and ensured an inclusive culture across all professional ( Bands 5 and above) and trained (Bands 1-4) staff in all clinical and non-clinical posts."

Ms. Glen said,

" The ‘natural turnover’ in NHS staff that the Scottish Government talks about mistakenly assumes that the NHS is not at full stretch.

" If vacant front line posts are to be covered by other staff, then the overall standard of care that patients have a right to expect will be adversely affected."

Ms. Glen said that she would now be asking Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon that if the newly-formed National Scrutiny Group decided that a health board’s proposals to reduce its workforce would reduce the quality of patient care, what action the Health Secretary would then take.


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