The NHS has been on shaky ground in recent years. While people have argued that it’s unfit for purpose almost since its inception, government ministers (specifically Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt) have mounted pressure on the public health sector, inflicting budget cuts and large staff reductions on certain hospitals.
These cuts reached their pinnacle when junior doctors went on major strikes (which we’ve covered in previous blogposts), the first of their kind since the 70s. Since then, further cuts to the NHS have largely flown under the radar in the national press.
Local hospitals, however, continue to feel the pressure of major cuts. The most recent victim is the West Midlands hospital trust, which has announced it is axing 450 jobs from the area. But Jeremy Hunt has insisted that patients will remain just as safe.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Hunt said, “Some of the safest hospitals in the world don’t actually have some of the highest nurse-to-patient ratios.
“So a hospital like Virginia Mason in Seattle, which is held up as a beacon in terms of safe care globally, actually has relatively low ratios.
“What they do is ensure that 90 per cent of nurses’ time is spent with patients. Not filling out forms or dealing with bureaucracy in the system.”
Hunt has also argued that the extra staff, many of which worked for agencies and were paid higher than average wages, was unsustainable.
While cutting the levels of bureaucracy in hospitals is inarguably a positive step forward, doing so at the expense of many staff in the NHS has been viewed by many as the wrong move.
Although cuts in staff may or may not diminish the service offered by the NHS in the West Midlands, we’ll always aim to provide the finest healthcare waste management for hospitals and general practitioners alike. There’ll be no cuts here.