GMB says reduction in beds and wards will put lives at risk

Barnsley HospitalGMB members at Barnsley Hospital are opposing £3.5 million cuts at their workplace, saying planned bed and ward closures will put lives at risk.

Bosses are looking at cutting services to stroke, gynaecology and pregnancy wards as well as closing a surgical ward.

GMB branch secretary Martin Jackson said: “Members are extremely concerned about the risks to patient’s safety and fear it is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident.

“So much for the Tory claim to be making the NHS a seven day per week service. Staff are under immense pressure to deliver high quality patient care but are at breaking point.

“To make matters worse GMB representatives are being denied proper consultation with hospital management to address patient care concerns. Senior NHS managers keep informing GMB that the quality of care is their first priority while their actions speak of the reverse.”

Stacey Booth, GMB Lead Officer for the NHS, said: “GMB is supporting our members and the Barnsley community and will continue to campaign against the down-grading of services at the hospital.

“There has been minimal consultation about the proposals.  Hospital management is making changes at a time when the Trust is under severe pressure.  The hospital is already stretched and has introduced an Escalation Ward to deal with the high turn-over of patients, but the ward doesn’t have a dedicated medical team and this is leading to a lack of consistency in patient care.  Lives are being put at risk.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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