New figures have shown that nurses, doctors and midwives are losing their jobs in the NHS in money-saving exercises, despite the government's claims that frontline patient services would not be affected by the cuts.
The Royal College of Nursing, which questioned 21 primary care trusts, found that at least 10,000 staff are faced with losing their job, with over half of those being amongst clinical staff including doctors, nurses and midwives.
The NHS has been ordered to make "efficiency savings" in a bid to save £20bn over four years and though most staff will not be made redundant, they will not be replaced when they leave. Those who have already announced job losses include County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust which is to lose 300 nurses while Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust will cut 264 posts by 2015.
The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley will attend this week's RCN conference in Liverpool and will face criticism of the government's approach to proposed NHS reforms. Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said that the figures on job losses expose the myth that frontline staff would be protected. He said: "Many trusts are not admitting to the proportion of clinical jobs being lost. From our research we now know the truth. The majority of job losses are frontline clinical jobs."