GMB, Britain’s General Union, attacked plans by the management of the Great Western Hospital in Swindon to axe up to 200 jobs, 99 of which were likely to involve redundancy.
4 May 2006
Trade unions at the Great Western Hospital were told today (4 May) that the Trust needed to make £2.2m in savings per annum as a result of a financial deficit. The Trust is required to achieve a balanced budget this year and faces a potential deficit of £5m.
Kevin Brandstatter, GMB Organiser for Swindon said: “The Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust are the latest Trust to suffer financial problems as a result of Government policy. Patricia Hewitt was quite rightly booed off the stage at the union conferences last week. The continued bungling ineptitude of the Government is now putting the health and wellbeing of people from Swindon and North Wiltshire at risk. The decision to replace the Princess Margaret Hospital with a new hospital based on the much criticised PFI process is also partly responsible for the financial mess surrounding the Great Western Hospital. The Trust has contractual obligation to Carillion, the owners and builders of the Hospital to pay them irrespective of the financial state of the Trust or the need to provide services to patients. The essence of the PFI project is now abundantly clear – private profit first, patient care second. If the Trust did not have to pay such massive sums to a private company it would not have to make so many job cuts.
It is clear that patient care will be compromised by the cuts in staff at the hospital – there is no way that a hospital can lose so many jobs without disruption to patient care. The Trust will try obviously try to avoid compulsory redundancies by not filling these posts and by natural wastage, but when a nurse or health care assistant leaves and is not replaced there is one less person to look after patients.
GMB will defend members’ interests vigorously and intends to campaign against these unnecessary job losses”.