Thought you'd like to read this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...-NHS-cuts.html
Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said plans to find £20 billion in savings meant that at least 27,000 NHS workers would lose their jobs, with “many more” at risk.
While overall the NHS budget is ring-fenced, increased costs in areas such as drug procurement mean that efficiencies must be found elsewhere.
As experts warned that the country could be facing its first flu epidemic for a decade, Dr Carter accused the Government of breaking a promise to protect the NHS.
“The gap between protecting the health service on the one hand, and cutting services and jobs on the other, could hardly be wider,” he said.
“Safety and quality should be the number one priority for the NHS. However, more than half of nurses have already told us that they are too busy to provide the standard of care they would like.
“When they are seeing further cut-backs, less shift cover, more patients to attend to, they will have less time to give each patient and there is no doubt care will suffer."
"The worry is that we have seen time and again what happens when staffing levels are slashed without thinking of the impact on patient care.
"The NHS is not yet returning to the days of interminable waits for treatment and trolleys in corridors, but we are worried that on the trajectory already started, it may only be a matter of time until it does."
Recent scandals showed the impact which staffing levels could have on patient care, the nursing leader said.
At Stafford hospital between 2005 and 2008, up to 1,200 patients were found to have died because of poor care.
Another 90 people who sought treatment the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospital trust in Kent between 2004 and 2006 died after catching the superbug C difficile.
Dr Carter told The Observer newspaper that there was an "indisputable link" between staffing levels and mortality rates, with one study showing a 26 per cent increase in levels of deaths at hospitals with the highest patient-to-nurse ratios.
"Take some of the well-documented examples in recent times of disastrous failings that can occur in part through staffing deficits,” he added.
"While [nurses)]are seeing further cutbacks, less shift cover, more patients to attend to, they will have less time to give each patient and there is no doubt care will suffer.”
But a spokesman for the Department of Health said that plans set out in the recent NHS health white paper meant that the patient care would be protected.
He added: "Reform is not an option; it is a necessity. If we are to make patient outcomes truly world-class and respond to rising demand, we must reform the NHS so that it can focus its resources on patients and quality."
"The NHS white paper will help to protect patients and give commissioners the powers to take action if unacceptable mistakes happen. Unsafe care is not to be tolerated."