NURSES’ leaders yesterday angrily criticised plans by bosses at two Yorkshire NHS trusts to cut costs.
As many as 500 staff at Rotherham Hospital have been warned they are at risk of redundancy with job losses expected to be closer to 300 in cuts worth £50m by 2015.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said 60 jobs including those of nurses would go with the closure of three wards, while 145 nurses faced being made redundant and potentially re-employed at a lower grade.
Its regional director, Glenn Turp, said: “Cutting staff numbers in hospital environments can only ever increase pressure on those who remain and now that we can see the true extent of the plans for Rotherham we have genuine fears for patient safety and quality of care.”
Acting chief executive Matthew Lowry said: “Our priority has to be to ensure we continue to fulfil our commitment to the people of Rotherham to provide the high quality services they deserve during this challenging financial climate.”
The Wakefield-based Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust yesterday announced plans to create a standard 11.5 hour shift for nurses which the RCN said for some was “out of the question”.
Hospital bosses say the move would strengthen frontline care by making more effective use of nursing staff, improving continuity of care and increasing flexibility.