UNISON, the biggest Scottish health union, has expressed concern over deep job cuts planned by health boards across Scotland.
The boards have submitted their plans to Cabinet Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon who now intends to publish the full cuts. UNISON welcomes the publication of workforce projections and the establishment of a new partnership group with the trade unions to scrutinise the workforce plans.
Tam Waterson, Chair of UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee said:
“We are concerned at the scale of these planned job cuts. The Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure no compulsory redundancies is welcome, as is the involvement of unions in scrutiny of the health board plans. But it is clear that we face deep cuts which will impact on our vital health services.”
1250 job cuts are planned for Greater Glasgow and Clyde this year, 700 in Lothian – with another 1,300 in the pipeline for next year. Tayside plans to 500 full time equivalent jobs. Grampian has announced 600 job cuts, and Highland plans to cut 100.
NHS Scotland requires to save £270 million in the current financial year to balance the books following a tight Scottish budget settlement in February.
Meanwhile the health service faces rising inflation and increased demand.
Further pressure on funding is likely after the new coalition government at Westminster implements its emergency budget in June. The severe cuts expected in the deficit reduction plan will have inevitable knock-on effects in Scotland over the next few years.