The breakdown of health service cuts revealed

The scale of cuts to the Health Service, – a service that’s supposed to be ring fenced but now subject to lower rates of  investment – is  revealed  by a union-sponsored  website False Economy  and extracted by the Guardian’s Data Blog. The info is collated  from FoI requests throughout the UK . A long scroll down reveals the damage to NI services  – a total of over 2,500 posts. They included 280 posts in the ambulance service Of these at least 132 and medical and dental posts and 763 are in nursing. The southern board does not break the categories of posts  cut. Further up the listit is It should be emphasised that these appear to be historic figures applying mainly for the financial year about to end. It does not deal with 2011/12 and subsequent.

280    Northern Ireland Ambulance Service AMB     44 WTE reduction in funded establishment in 2010/11 (3.57% of total), comprising 22 WTE paramedics and 22 WTE emergency medical technicians, all through vacancy freezing and natural wastage. The reduction is the equivalent of 4 x 24/7 (35,040 hours) per annum of traditional double crewed A&E Ambulance cover. This reduction was offset by an investment of the equivalent of 10 x 24/7 (87,600 hours) per annum of single manned Rapid Response Vehicles introduced prior to 2010/11. This investment increased the funded establishment by 60 WTE Paramedic posts.

377    Western Health and Social Care Trust NI    289 WTE post reduction in 2010/11: Medical – 12; Nursing – 143; Allied Health Professionals – 12; Admin/Management – 62; Social Services – 36; Professional and Technical – 12; Ancillary and General – 12. In addition the Trust is required to save on a non-recurring basis £5.9 million from temporary/bank/agency staffing. The Trust is unable to give a WTE equivalent as the target relates to expenditure reductions as opposed to number of posts. Future years to be determined following October 20th Spending Review.     289

378    Belfast Health and Social Care Trust NI    1,755 WTE net post reduction in 2010/11. 1,855 WTE (9%) gross post reduction, including temporary, bank and agency staff who make up around 5% of the total workforce. Medical & Dental – 120; Nursing – 620; Social Services – 185; Ancillary & General – 320; Professional & Technical – 325; Admin & Clerical – 285. Investment for additional clinical staff in the order of 100 WTE has been provided to the Trust in 2010/11. 1755

379     Northern Health and Social Care Trust NI     88.73 WTE post reduction in 2009/10. No further information available.

380    South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust NI    200 WTE indicative post reduction in 2010/11. The posts will be spread across the whole of the organisation, although the Trust will ensure that the impact on frontline services is minimised as far as possible.    200

381     Southern Health and Social Care Trust NI     The Trust has not been advised of any funding position post-2011 or any specific efficiency savings to be delivered during that period.

But, southern board,  what about about 2010/11 and 2009/10?

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  • Irishlassabroad

    I love that for Belfast Trush the number of nurses being cut is over twice the number of admin staff! When I worked there the number of administrators to admistrate what other administrators were doing was already endemic and from what I hear that has not changed. Don’t get we wrong, I still work for the NHS in Scotland in a clerical role and clerical work is vital to the running of the hospital but not the amount of band 7+ admin staff that there are who are all getting paid more than the nursing staff. Cuts in the NHS as required but not in front line services.

  • Numbers have to be treated with caution. If something is reorganised the ‘post’ may be closed, but that does not mean a ‘job’ is lost: it may just be shifted to another category or grade, or department. For example: public health posts in the NHS have moved to the Local Councils in England – post lost, job moved to another public accounting centre. These numbers may well be jobs lost, and wouldn’t want to challenge the scale of change, but equally the numbers may not be what they appear. Only came across this recently in conversation with a public sector boss.

  • Cynic2


    You do your best in the shock / horror stakes but I have to say, so what?

    This particular survey is highly suspect. The Trades Unions through a front organisation ask their members in organisations across the country to compile figures for them ‘under FOI’. Aye, those have a lot of credibility. Even then the figures include ‘temporary bank and agency’ staff ie all those high priced agency nurses who fill in for staff on long term sick etc (another thing we dont talk about despite the fact that the NHS is one of the ‘sickest’ parts of the public sector.)

    The Health Services here needs drastic reorganisation. We have far too many hospitals for the population. As a result we treat people in smaller units that are inefficient and LESS SAFE. The general public would often prefer to see Granny treated in their local hospital as its closer to home but they dont realise that her chances of recovery there are often less than if she were treated in a single specialist center. We all want our local A&E – presumably because in an acute emergency we’d prefer to die nearer to home than in a specialist center that might just have the higher skill levels to save us.

    Sectarian squabbles and political grandstanding mean that we build brand spanking new hospitals in areas that don’t need them and that we cannot afford to run. The history of the Downpatrick Hospital is a scandal. Or we fight to retain duplicate services in different hospitals

    The whole focus is on the bricks and mortar – not on the best services at the best price. And in the middle of this patients suffer

    No political interest will dare say this or challenge as local votes are at stake. This runs from the bottom to the top. Expect a lot more shroud waving for the next 3 months.

  • tinman

    Response from the Belfast Trust as reported in the Belfast Telegraph:

    We are not talking about directly employed members of staff losing their jobs. The figures indicate what the different savings plans required of us over several years have meant in terms of reduced resources. In the main this means we have reduced agency staff, reduced overtime and reduced temporary staff. But during 2010/11 we have received investment for the equivalent of around 100 whole time equivalent members of staff.