Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Care before cuts...

This is a comment piece that appeared in the Guardian this week...

Earlier this year, the RCN undertook a Freedom of Information request that revealed the NHS spends at least £350 million a year on management consultants; a figure that we suspect could be much higher.

If anything pointed out the waste and inefficiencies that could be cut from an NHS budget, this was surely it.

Of the huge figure spent on these consultants, 78% (or £273 million) was spent on projects that did not directly affect patient care. These include re-branding trusts, changing logos or re-naming organisations to make them more attractive to potential patients.

The RCN has nothing against management consultants, but when one considers that the money spent on them could pay for 330 fully staffed medical wards, one has to question the virtue of this expenditure.

If the NHS is to look to ways to reduce spending, which in today’s climate appears inevitable, then we must look at costs like these. What we mustn’t do is wield the axe towards our front line services and the areas that comfort, cure and care for patients.

One can only imagine how demoralising all this must be for our nurses, doctors and others; to see such vast sums spent on consultancy when they fear their own services may face cut backs and budget reductions.

Cuts to our front line would see waiting lists soar, standards plummet and a quality of care that no patient deserves. Efficiencies can be made, but they must be made intelligently and to areas of spending that don’t impact on the dignified and quality care that all patients deserve.

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