The picture above is of a group of nurses. Take a good look at it, as you might find that they’re a bit of a rare breed the way things are going in the NHS…
It emerged over the weekend that 19 NHS trusts in the South West of England are considering forcing staff to take a pay cut and work longer hours. If they refuse to do so, then they may face dismissal. The proposals effect all staff except doctors, who have separate contracts.
It seems from a leaked document that the trusts in question are forming a cartel to drive through the changes which include a 5% pay cut, an end to overtime payments for night work, reduced holidays and longer shifts. All of this is in defiance of the so-called Agenda for Change which calls for unified national pay scales. Staggeringly, the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, seems to be in favour of the changes although I suppose we should’t really be surprised at this given his woeful track record in the job to date…
The Chief Executives of these trusts believe that by acting together they can counter what they describe as ‘the extremely hostile reaction’ to the proposals. I have a couple of things I would like to say to these people :
If you believe that you will get any public sympathy for these proposals, then you are sorely mistaken. The majority of people in the UK see NHS nurses as being badly treated. They are exploited because they regard their work as a vocation and not just a job. They are underpaid because of this.
The majority of people in the country regard the NHS as having too many overpaid managers. They think it is overly bureaucratic. The think that there is too much emphasis on targets and form filling at the expense of patient care.
If the 19 trusts who are proposing these changes to balance their budgets are serious, then they should be looking at their own salaries first and then at the levels of unnecessary management under their immediate control.
And if they go ahead with these plans, then my sincere wish is that they need the services of the very people they are crapping on in the not too distant future…
…although I expect that these idiots all have private medical insurance!