MPs urged to take action on job cuts
23 January 2013
The BMA wants MPs to put pressure on a mental health trust which plans to cut jobs and inpatient beds.
BMA eastern regional council secretary Robert Harwood has written to local MPs about the proposals in the Trust Service Strategy Consultation which ended on January 21 at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. They include cutting 500 posts over the next three years.
Dr Harwood says: ‘I would urge you to contact Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and ask them to engage meaningfully with both its staff and stakeholders to agree a better way forward.’
The letter reflects local negotiating committee concerns that the plans would lead to ‘a decline in the quantity and quality of service provided and this will result in significant risks to patient safety’.
The LNC’s concerns are:
- The proposed reductions to medical and other clinical staff will have a major impact on the quality of care provided to patients. The number of consultants could be cut by more than a third and other grades of doctor by 40 per cent
- Highly trained and specialist medical staff will be disproportionately affected by reductions in staffing levels because redeployment opportunities will be more limited for them than for other groups in the trust
- The trust’s plans have not addressed concerns about maintaining out-of-hours cover
- The trust’s capacity to offer training for junior psychiatrists will be drastically reduced by the proposals
- The trust is implementing some of the proposed changes prior to the completion of the consultation. Dr Harwood says: ‘this is totally unacceptable and demonstrates a lack of commitment to genuine consultation with staff’
- There has been ‘a distinct lack of robust consultation’ with staff, stakeholders, service users and carers.
The letter was sent to 16 MPs in Norfolk and Suffolk this week.
The BMA encouraged doctors to respond to the consultation.