The health economy and workforce context
Reducing the pay, terms and conditions of staff in the South West is not the only choice that employers have, and this course of action is highly likely to negatively impact on patient care. There is widespread consensus in support of shifting services into the community. It is this sort of whole system reorganisation which will produce savings but is also in the best interests of patients.
We acknowledge that this change will create challenges for the workforce, but simply reducing pay or making short-sighted workforce cuts is not the answer at a time when the health care needs of the population are set to increase. Not only is there a real risk that staff will be forced to leave the NHS, but it will also be difficult to recruit, and the morale of remaining staff will be damaged further.
Rather than working together to cut staff pay, terms and conditions, employers should be collaborating to transform services and bring care closer to home.