Monday, 3 December 2012

Jeremy Hunt is right. The nurses to bed ratio is climbing. But this graph shows why....

Health Questions in Parliament last week could have been described as a bag of laughs if the matters under discussion were not so serious. But there is no doubt that Jeremy Hunt's answers are becoming increasingly devoid of relevance. When NHS Staff numbers first began to fall, Jeremy Hunt pointed to the numbers of clinical staff which had in fairness to him underwent a very modest rise. But nurses are not counted as clinical staff. When the number of clinical staff, especially doctors, took their biggest fall in staff numbers in the most recent publication, Jeremy Hunt dropped that defence. As Andy Burnham pointedly referred Jeremy Hunt to the 4,100+ fall in Nursing Staff under the Tories, Jeremy Hunt gave the most curious reply. He boasted that everything was alright because the actual nurse to bed ratio had improved under the Tories. Sure what does it matter if nurses are being axed, as long as the nurse to bed ratio climbs? Right?

The flaw in Jeremy's wonderful logic is that the only reason the nurse to bed ratio is climbing is because Jeremy is axing the number of beds at a faster rate than he is axing the number of nurses. For the 4,100+ nurses Jeremy and his band of Tories have handed P45s to, he has axed 11,000+ Hospital Beds. He is on course to axe 17,000 nurses during this parliament but sure it's grand because he's on course to cut 25,000 beds.  If the Tories win the next General Election then the number of Hospital Beds on this current rate of reduction will fall below the 100,000 mark. That means there will be 1 Hospital Bed in England for more than 50 citizens.  You cannot trust the Tories on the NHS.

1. To view the evidence of the hospital bed cuts (see here).
2. To view the evidence of the nurses axed (see here). 

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