The Head of Health at Unison recently said that \”What is truly distressing is that that the survey clearly shows how spending cuts are already threatening to damage the quality of patient care. The Government are turning back the clock and dragging the country back to the dark days of the eighties and early nineties when the NHS was starved of money. Government cuts threaten to undo and reverse the benefits of all the investment and hard work that has gone into turning the NHS round over the past 13 years. We have been able to train our own nurses instead of scouring third world countries to fill shortages. In a worrying reversal, half the people we surveyed are affected by staff shortages. This is particularly dangerous because the lack of staff was a key factor in the appalling problems with patient care at Mid Staffs Hospital.\”
The Department of Health responded by saying \”The coalition Government has made an historic commitment to increase NHS spending in real terms in every year of this Parliament. But the demand on the NHS is so great that in order to sustain and improve services, we need to make every penny count. The efficiency drive is about cutting waste and bureaucracy and all savings made will be put back into patient care. Better care can cost less and all over the NHS people are making changes to improve care and save money.\”
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