Burnham: 'The NHS is taking a battering'

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary said:

Whilst David Cameron wastes billions on back-office restructuring, the front-line of the NHS is taking a battering. Ambulances are once again queuing up outside A&Es across England. In many hospitals there are simply not enough qualified nurses on the ground and healthcare assistants are increasingly being used to cover nurses’ roles.

Since David Cameron walked through the door of 10 Downing Street, over six thousand nursing posts have been lost. At the same time, he has spent £1 billion on redundancy packages for managers. Six-figure pay-outs to managers; P45s to nurses – what clearer illustration could there be of a Government with its priorities completely wrong?

The truth is that this Government has de-stabilised the NHS with a re-organisation nobody wanted and two years of real-terms spending cuts. It is this deadly combination of cuts and re-organisation that has proved toxic for the NHS and left it in a critical condition. Ministers are taking unacceptable risks with standards of patient care and they cannot continue to ignore the warnings from nurses’ and doctors’ leaders. They must urgently intervene to protect the NHS front-line as it cannot safely sustain job losses at this level.

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NHS 'sleepwalking' into crisis

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that the NHS is "sleepwalking into a crisis", saying that huge staff reductions come as there is a soaring demand for care.