NHS Redundancy Figures Reignite Row

The row over the true scale of NHS job losses has reopened as Government figures revealed that there were 903 compulsory redundancies last year. Department of Health statistics show that 167 were clinical staff – including doctors and nurses – and 736 non-clinical, such as managers and administrators.

But the Tories insisted that the current financial crisis in the health service was causing thousands of job losses nationwide.

Unions and health organisations have also warned that official figures do not take account of vacant posts and planned cuts.

Prime Minister Tony Blair predicted last week that there would be only “a few hundred” compulsory redundancies in the NHS this year.

But Tory leader David Cameron said the crisis was costing 20,000 jobs – a figure which managers’ organisation NHS Employers has said may be “not too far off” the total reduction in workforce numbers this year.

Health Minister Andy Burnham demanded that Mr Cameron apologise for his “grossly exaggerated claims” about NHS job losses.

The figures, which cover staff sacked since April, are taken from a survey of strategic health authorities.

However, they do not include NHS trusts and are therefore likely to rise.

They are being published alongside new advice to help sacked and “displaced” NHS staff find new jobs.