NHS surplus plans will lead to jobs losses, warns the RCN

The RCN has warned of job losses and service cuts after the NHS has been ordered to make a £250 million surplus by the end of 2007/8.

Dr Beverly Malone
Dr Beverly Malone

NHS chief executive David Nicholson said the health service would achieve financial balance overall by March 2007, and aim for the surplus by the end of the following year.

‘It’s not good enough to deliver balance across the system as a whole, we need to go for a surplus,’ he said.
This would boost trusts’ flexibility and ability to think strategically, he said.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt told MPs earlier this year she would ‘take personal responsibility’ if deficits remained at the end of 2006/7.

Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA’s consultants’ com-mittee, said: ‘Whilst it may be good business practice to have a financial surplus, the NHS will struggle to meet the challenge at a time when hospitals are already cutting back on patient services.

‘Operations are being delayed, jobs are being frozen, and trained doctors and other healthcare staff are struggling to find jobs, while the NHS attempts to get its fi-nances sorted.’

The NHS operating framework for 2007/8, published this week, calls for PCTs to review community-based services to set out plans to move services out of hospitals.

It also calls for practice-based commissioners and PCTs to move towards a ‘greater focus on joint commissioning between health and social care’, and better integration between health and social care and closer links to local government.

RCN warning

‘At a time when trusts up and down the country are in the grip of a damaging deficits crisis, the government’s demand that the NHS now achieve a quarter of a billion pounds surplus by 2008 can only result in increased job losses and further service cuts which can jeopardise patient care,’ said RCN general secretary Dr Beverly Malone.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP on phone in recorded consultation assessment

Consultation skills to help GP trainees pass the RCA

Dr Afsar Rizvi highlights the key skills GP trainees need to master in order to pass...

Wes Streeting

Labour promises same GP 'each appointment' and face-to-face access if patients want it

A Labour government would offer patients the chance to see 'the same doctor each...

Man wearing mask on train

UK faces serious threat from flu and COVID-19 'twindemic' this winter

There are strong indications the UK faces a dangerous 'twindemic' of COVID-19 and...

NHS sign outside a building

PCN contract overhaul defers two-week appointment target until April 2023

NHS England has announced changes to the network contract DES, including deferring...

Coins

NHS sets out priorities for extra GP funding this winter

Integrated care boards could target extra funding for general practice at phone systems,...

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves

Labour promises to double medical school places with tax cut reversal

A Labour government would double medical school places with funding raised from reversing...