According to Hazel Blears, 400 nursing posts are being cut from Salford Royal Hospital (ex Hope Hospital), with 200 gone already this year and a further 200 to go over the next two years.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, the Salford and Eccles MP asked Health Secretary Andrew Lansley about the cuts in the wake of last week's visit by Lansley and Prime Minister David Cameron to the Hospital…
"When the Secretary of State, together with the Prime Minister, visited Salford Royal hospital last week to praise the nurse leadership, was he aware that the hospital has cut 200 posts this year and is about to cut a further 200 posts over the next two years as a result of having to take 15% out of its budget?" Blears asked, adding "Does he not agree that nurse leadership is important, but that we also need the nurses on the wards to be able to deliver effective patient care?"
Lansley answered… "Of course I had an opportunity to talk to the chief executive, the nursing director and others at Salford Royal, and I was tremendously impressed, as was the Prime Minister, by the quality and leadership of the nursing, which demonstrated what he was saying about nursing—that there is best practice inside the NHS, and we need to spread it…
"The right hon. Lady is confusing a cost-improvement programme with a cut" he added "I think Members on both sides of the House understand that the NHS is having to make efficiency savings, which involves shifting some resources from the acute sector and hospitals into the community. Right across the NHS, we have an increase of over £3 billion this year; next year, we have a 2.5% or 2.8% increase everywhere."
Salford Royal Hospital is currently in the process of making £17.6million in cuts, including a £1.6million cut in its community services. It's all being done under a programme called `The Salford Way – Safely Reducing Costs'.
Overlooking the cuts programme is the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust board of directors, which, of course, includes Hazel Blears' husband Michael Halsall, picking up over £13,000 a year from the hospital as a non-executive director (see here).