More Dundee cuts

Dundee Teaching Hospitals Trust will start transferring services from its Kings Cross hospital to Ninewells hospital in the next couple of months.

The 129 beds providing acute medical services at Kings Cross will be replaced by only 120 beds at Ninewells. Some staff will be transferred, but the trust will obviously be looking for redundancies. The trust admits that it faces a shortfall of £5.5 million in the coming year and sacking staff and reducing beds will help it balance its books.

These measures will place an intolerable burden on the city’s healthcare system. As a statement from staff at Kings Cross makes clear:

“It is the general public who will be on the receiving end of this folly. Beds are already full, and Ninewells and Dundee Royal Infirmary (which is also due for closure) are bursting at the seams. The system will simply not cope with fewer beds.”

Although management is proposing to include an infectious diseases unit at Ninewells, there are no plans for a dedicated AIDS and HIV unit. Campaigners worry that the continuity of care and the coordinated approach which has been adopted at the Kings Cross immuno-deficiency unit will be abandoned at Ninewells.

It is important that the Trust does not get away with any such closures. It is vital that the Dundee Campaign against Hospital Cuts and Closures does not just campaign to defend our health service, but fights to improve it so we can have quality healthcare for all.

Andy Mclean