Money has to be saved in the NHS, but not by cutting jobs and services, the Royal College of Nursing has said.
The comments came as the National Audit Office report on NHS efficiency savings was published.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said it is clear from the report and the RCN’s own evidence that the NHS is facing an uphill battle to continue making savings. He also warned that trusts are making ill-thought-through short- term cuts to jobs and services, as well as benefitting from the current pay freeze, to achieve these savings.
“This is not only jeopardising patient care but is not sustainable in the long term; especially in light of recent reports by the Care Quality Commission which found that waiting times are increasing, while one in six hospitals do not have enough staff to care properly for patients.
“We agree with the National Audit Office that fundamental redesign of services is needed, however, community services are often overburdened, underinvested and at risk from cutbacks,” he said.
The RCN is calling for the money that has been saved over the past year to be reinvested into frontline services.