Overstretched and underpaid Plymouth medical staff 'on brink of quitting their jobs'
CONCERNS have been voiced that medical staff are overstretched, underpaid and 'on the brink of quitting their jobs'.
Recommendations have been made to a consortium considering how to make NHS cuts.
The Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Panel met yesterday to pull together suggestions which they will present to the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium.
The consortium, made up of 20 NHS trusts, has been established to identify the best ways to tackle serious financial challenges facing the NHS. Options include cutting workers wages and benefits and redundancies.
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Representatives from Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, British Medical Association, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, attended to give evidence.
Major concerns voiced were that many medical staff were on the verge of quitting their jobs through being overstretched and underpaid.
It was heard that at any one time in Plymouth, which employs 5,000 NHS staff, 230 would be off work, costing £7 million a year. And much of this leave could be due to stress and illness. It was also heard that in Plymouth between 63 and 80 per cent of staff never received an appraisal which meant they could never receive pay increments.
Plymouth's Chamber of Commerce said that for every £1 cut in wages in Plymouth's NHS it would negatively affect the local economy by £4.
Recommendations agreed were for staff's views on changes to be "demonstrably taken into account", for the financial impact of any scheme on the local economy to be "formally considered" and to seek the views of key sector employers in Plymouth.
The panel said service redesign should be considered as an alternative to altering pay and conditions, as well as improved management and productivity.
They also asked for an effective sickness strategy to be produced and that 100 per cent of staff appraisals should take place and for the trust to publish a response to its most recent staff survey. They also asked for the impact of on-going recruitment and staff retention to be considered.
Plymouth NHS must make cuts of £40 million over the next two years as savings of £20 billion are made nationally.