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The News Line: News ‘Slash, Trash and Privatise!’ STPs put patients’ lives at risk
Planned STP cuts mean maternity services at Horton Hospital in Banbury are due for closure, endangering mothers’ & babies’ lives
‘IT IS CLEAR that patients’ lives are being put at risk, but the solution is not to slash, trash and privatise through the NHS England’s STP programme,’ Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said yesterday.


He was speaking after Prof Sir Mike Richards, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) chief inspector of hospitals had described the NHS as ‘standing on a burning platform’, after issuing a report saying that safety at four in five hospital trusts in England is not good enough.

Richards said: ‘Rising demand coupled with economic pressures are creating difficult-to-manage situations that are putting patient care at risk.’ According to the CQC report, which came one month after the British Red Cross said the NHS is facing a humanitarian crisis, staffing and overcrowding are major concerns.

The CQC review also highlighted delays getting tests and treatments and poor care of life-threatening conditions such as sepsis. Commenting on the report, Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, said: ‘This is a stark but timely warning for the government.

‘This report confirms what we already know – safe staffing levels are not a luxury, they are a necessity. Ministers have a chance to begin putting this right in next week’s Budget. Nursing staff are doing the best they can but are being spread ever-more thinly.

‘At the very moment the government should be attracting people into the profession, its decision to axe funding for student nurses has led to a sharp drop in applications. There are 24,000 nursing vacancies in the UK and, without decisive action, it’s only going to get worse.

‘When there are too few nurses caring for patients, it puts people at serious risk. In next week’s Budget, the government must give the NHS the money it needs to keep patients safe and wards staffed at the right level.’

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said: ‘The CQC report provides yet more evidence the NHS is being underfunded and driven into the ground by the
government. People are living longer than ever before and our aging population has complex needs. To treat them costs money – yet NHS funding is not keeping pace with this.’

Unite’s Jarrett-Thorpe said: ‘This report from the CQC underlines the issues facing the health and social care system in England after nearly seven years of austerity funding which has seen waiting times increase, the amount of beds in hospital being cut and a demoralised health workforce who are being stretched to their
limits. 
‘It is clear that patients are being put at risk, but the solution is not to Slash, Trash and Privatise through the NHS England’s STP programme, but for the chancellor to address NHS and social care funding issues in his Budget next week.’
 
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