OXFORD NHS CRISIS! – 600 jobs to go at Radcliffe Hospital


Public sector union UNISON yesterday reacted in shock and anger to the announcement by Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust that it plans to cut 600 NHS jobs in the face of a £33m deficit.

A UNISON spokesperson told News Line if the workers choose to take industrial action in defence of their jobs, they will have the full support of the union.

UNISON South East Head of Health Steve Brazier said the planned cuts ‘will have a direct impact on the quality of patient care’.

He added: ‘Staff have worked very hard over the last three years in particular to put this Trust into the top three of the most cost efficient acute teaching trusts in the country.

‘The Trust says it is six per cent cheaper than the national average as measured by the DoH’s own cost reference index and so cannot be considered to be among the poor performing trusts that the government blames for the NHS deficits.

‘To incur cutbacks of this magnitude on top of these efficiency savings for the short term objective of a year end financial balance will cause widespread dismay amongst staff and patients.’

Dr Beverly Malone, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing responded to the news: ‘These latest job losses in Oxford are just another sorry chapter in the on-going deficits saga taking place across England.

‘We are seeing NHS services being eroded in a steady process of attrition.

‘What is really worrying is that this is a trust that has already lost posts in the past two years.’

Dawn Chambers RCN officer in Oxfordshire said: ‘We are very concerned that around 225 nursing posts will be lost.’

She added: ‘At the moment it is difficult to assess the impact that the changes will have on services particularly at the Horton though there will be a concern from staff and local residents about the future of the hospital as an acute provider.’

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals said the cuts are in response ‘to the fact that Oxfordshire receives one of the lowest levels of health funding in the country, with 15 per cent less than the English national average.’