Cuts get more outrageous

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I AM getting very concerned regarding these outrageous cuts imposed by the Government on local councils when they are struggling to meet the needs of our growing older population now, let alone after these cuts.

In my opinion, the situation is only going to get worse, and there seem to be growing examples.

There is such a shortage of nurses that six terminally-ill patients have had to be moved out of Jarrow Primrose Hill Hospital to Ward 20 of South Tyneside District Hospital, so that the staff at Primrose Hill could be released to work at the District Hospital.

This is a totally unsettling incident, both for the patients and their relatives, and the nurses themselves. It smacks of papering over the cracks.

Alongside the shortages and cuts, I then read that more than £48,000 has been spent by South Tyneside to cover the costs of hiring agency staff to cover for sick workers, and this was during just three months.

What is being done to improve the sickness absence rates of workers? What is being done in terms of counselling or improvement to working conditions – as both are proven to improve absence rates?

It seems to me that only by getting senior management, a selection of staff at ground level, together with union leaders and also council and government representatives, can a plan be made in order to improve the situation, decrease absence rates, therefore decrease additional costs and move on in order to give first-rate care to the residents of this wonderful borough.

There is no point in senior ministers, including especially David Cameron, quoting figures in Prime Minister’s Question Time regarding additional nurses, when at a local level we are struggling.

He needs to get out into the real world and see what is happening in provincial and poorer areas, rather than focusing his time on Westminster and traditional Tory seats in increasingly electioneering behaviour.

Mr J Grant,

Gosforth Avenue,

Whiteleas,

South Shields.