The staff are concerned because if their incomes are cut they are going to have to work longer hours. Already some staff, as well as having to work irregular hours, have to work in the “bank” and “extras” to make ends meet. If they have to work longer hours then we’re not going to get the holidays allowance we used to get.

It’s going to make life much more difficult for everybody, from the point of morale. We have to work to live and maintain home and food and basic needs in order to do the job properly–you have to have a decent life style. It’s going to have a huge effect on everybody.

I’ve been in this job a long time, nursing in NHS hospitals. I have a family out there who have degrees and looking for jobs, it’s not easy. They’re not in the medical profession or nursing, but even in industry it’s not easy. It’s going to have an effect nationally and morale will fall. That will affect productivity and work, so we’ll have shoddy working done by disgruntled, unhappy workers. The outcome overall will be poor for Britain. The NHS I always reckoned was the greatest thing in the world and must be kept.

Initially when the cuts came out I looked hard and fast because I know people who are disabled and people on low incomes who need extra supplements to maintain a decent home life, basic food and place to live, Now I think some of the cuts should not be.

I don’t think the government is truly honest with us. I’m waiting to hear what the outcome of the next move will be and especially what’s happening locally, because how are we going to stop it? Prevention is the best cure, prevention has always been the way in medicine, prevention is the best treatment. How are we going to prevent it?

I came up here in the last year when they shut down Christchurch hospital down the road. Initially horror and shock went through all of us. The nurses and the staff, and people in the locality who didn’t want their hospital to close made up loads of suggestions. But nothing happened. The hospital doors were shut literally. They’re still struggling, some of the local people.

They should have used the hospital for elderly care and long-term rehabilitation. There’s no hospital or rehabilitation in that location now for elderly patients–it now has to be done in the community. I don’t know how satisfactory that is. I suppose there will be a survey done; and there will be, for instance, elderly patients who go home and return back to hospital. It’s unfair on them and what’s gone wrong if they have to come back here.

It absolutely can’t be one hospital or a few trying to stop this. The whole of the public needs to know. Well, they do know but not everyone gets how serious it is. They are waiting to see what’s going to happen. Others are out there and that’s where we should be, fighting. As I said earlier prevention is the best cure and we mustn’t allow these things to happen, we know it’s not right. It won’t be good for all patients, community and everyone who uses this service or whatever service. No more cuts! We have to go forward.

Politicians have to be there at every meeting and be accountable. Are they telling you what you want to hear or the truth or what’s going to happen? Do they know? Have they looked at the wider picture, do they know exactly what’s happening? If they have I think there are some places where staffing levels wouldn’t be as low as they are, if they fully understood the needs of some of the patients even at this hospital.