SOLIDARITY TRADE UNION has strongly opposed the announcement by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to axe beds and stop recruiting staff.
Both the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Belfast City Hospital will loose 75 beds each. Reports also indicate that there will be a freeze on recruitment and that staff shortages will be made up by agency workers.
The Belfast HSC is the largest Trust in Ulster and has been told by Michael McGimpsey – Health Minister for Northern Ireland – to make efficiency savings of £700m.
Solidarity General Secretary Patrick Harrington said:
“I am appalled at how savage these cuts are. Cutting 150 beds is not the way forward – nor is halting all recruitment. Both patients and NHS staff will be the big losers here.
It seems that the well-being of patients - and staff - is out of the window. It’s all about money. Solidarity is totally opposed to any NHS cuts in jobs or services.
Health Minister McGimpsey would be better listening to the claims of NHS front-line workers. The Belfast Trust is too big and should be broken into at least two smaller Trusts. I understand that Michael McGimpsey is now aware of the feelings of many staff regarding this matter”.