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NHS Staff Pay

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

Is the Minister aware that the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has written to its staff asking them

“to contribute one extra day of work without additional pay”?

Given the mess that Ministers are making of the NHS, with community hospitals under threat and physiotherapy, midwifery and health visitor jobs cut, and an inherited deficit for that trust of £17 million, which is carried forward year after year, would not it be more logical for Ministers to give up a day’s pay and contribute it to the trust?

I know that the trust wrote to its employees and that that followed the setting up of a clinical governance group, which considered possible measures in response to a projected overspend of some £5 million. In retrospect, the group, which included staff representatives, felt that it had gone slightly over the top in that request. The trust is still looking for ways to cut back—for example, on agency and bank staff—but it is rightly also seeking to ensure that it breaks even at the end of the financial year.