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Secret £39m Yorkshire care cuts exposed

SECRET plans to make £39 million in care cuts at Yorkshire hospitals were exposed by healthcare union Unison yesterday in leaked documents. 

Selling beds to private patients, sacking staff, slashing wages and selling-off property including nurses’ flats are among plots hatched by the Calderdale and Huddersfield National Health Service Foundation Trust.

It aims to cut spending by £20m this year and a further £19m next year to meet targets set by the Con-Dem coalition. 

“The scale of job losses which are envisioned in this shocking report will have a devastating impact on our members and their families,” said Unison regional organiser Gary Cleaver.

The plans have been drawn up even before completion of a “strategic review” which includes possible closure of the district’s two accident and emergency units in Huddersfield and Halifax.

Unison believes that the cuts would risk lives.

“It will also put standards of patient care in grave jeopardy,” Mr Cleaver continued.

“Standards of health care will inevitably plummet, with longer waiting times from referral to treatment.

“At the same time they are selling off NHS beds to private patients from across the world.”

Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan accused the trust of “hiding behind closed doors.”

The plan was drawn up by trust director of operations Mags Barnaby for its executive board, but had to be obtained by Unison.

“They are trying to implement Tory government cuts on the quiet,” Ms Riordan said.

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