Patients will die if budget cuts not eased, warns former NHS chief
Death rates in hospital will rise unless there is some easing of budget cuts, the country's main nursing union was told yesterday.
A former NHS deputy chief executive warned the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that proposed reductions in health service funding -- which could see €500m cut on top of the €1bn shaved in 2011 -- would lead to decreasing patient care.
The warning was given at an INMO conference on patient safety in Croke Park, Dublin, organised against a background of the Government's bleak mid-term economic review.
Mike Gill, a former finance director and deputy chief executive of the Mid-Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust in the UK, told the forum he had witnessed the dire consequences of cost-cutting, adding that meeting financial targets at any cost led to a fall in standards and increasing death rates.
The patient must always be the priority, he said.
And he referred to an inquiry into the trust -- where between 400 and 1,200 patients died unnecessarily from 2005 to 2008 -- which found that poor standards left patients at greater risk.
He also urged Irish nurses and midwives to continue to come forward and speak out about issues on the frontline.