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No easy deals

MARK Newbold (chief executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust) has been somewhat economical with the truth when he states that job losses are by way of natural wastage and people changing jobs voluntarily.

MARK Newbold (chief executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust) has been somewhat economical with the truth when he states that job losses are by way of natural wastage and people changing jobs voluntarily.

In many NHS Trusts, including HEFT, there is a process known as restructure taking place, whereby the managers of a ward/department decide that fewer staff are needed. They devise a new structure and the affected staff have to interview for their own jobs, usually against friends and colleagues, with no regard for how long they have held the post or how much experience they have. The unsuccessful candidates are matched with vacancies within the Trust, often in positions of a lower grade in which they have no experience. A four-week trial commences, during which the new manager can reject the member of staff but not the other way around. Two such trials are allowed, after which the staff member is placed in a redeployment pool for six months. Years of hard work count for nothing during this process, only how many points you can accrue at interview at the expense of your colleagues.

According to ACAS, the employee has no rights when jobs are cut under the umbrella of restructure, regardless of how long they have held a contract for their job.

In addition, the Trust has not yet decided whether staff will be granted the extra Bank Holiday for the Royal wedding.

So, for all of those people who have been misled by the Coalition into believing that all public sector workers have cushy jobs and gold-plated pensions, I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth.

Name and address supplied

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It all adds up

Mr Bramham (Letters) complains he cannot get HS2 power consumption figures from the DfT. I will provide him with comparison data between the Zefiro380 that meets HS2 specification and a train of two coupled Pendolino units meeting the HS2Antis highly unsatisfactory proposal for a patch and mend alternative to HS2.

It should be noted extra Pendolino sets will become very expensive as they are already outdated technology whereas Bombardier continues improving Zefiro380 and is sold around the globe.

A Zefiro HS2 has one third (30 per cent) higher acceleration, two thirds (70 per cent) higher top speed yet power consumption per seat is a quarter (25 per cent) greater, current per seat slightly more (10 per cent) from the line than Pendolino. Modern high-speed trains like HS2 with highly efficient motors/ braking can return more than 8MW to the grid further improving its efficiency and braking.

Both trains are about the same weight; however HS2 has two fewer cars (coaches) and per seat is a third (30 per cent) lighter yet carries 468 more passengers. Four HS2 will carry more passengers than seven twin Pendolinos producing a more efficient train which having better aerodynamic and suspension design will reduce both level and occurrence of train noise.

HT Harvey, Monastery Drive, B91

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Vital service

Paul Haynes is absolutely right (Letters) to declare that HS2 ‘is vital’ . The Network Rail West Coast utilisation study now published for consultation reveals that the New St-Coventry-Euston route will be totally full by 2024, with no scope to increase capacity in any way.

What I wonder would John Bramham propose as a solution.

‘Rail Fan’, Hall Green

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Not worth it

I READ with interest the recent comments concerning the building of a new High Speed Rail (HS2) line between Birmingham and London (Letters).

HS2 may well improve the core Inter-City rail network, but I’m concerned it will use up money that would be better invested in a range of smaller transport projects based on making people’s routine journeys easier. The whole premise for the line appears to be based upon questionable estimates about future travel patterns and is the usual nonsensical ramblings of cost-benefit analysis that no-one understands.

Even the most vociferous supporters appear now to be concentrating their effort at proving the economic regeneration benefits of the project. These types of benefits are notoriously hard both to estimate and deliver, and are often more a process of just transferring jobs from one location to another.

In addition the argument that the project is a ‘green’ project is just pure nonsense; any additional travel will create carbon emissions especially as people will need to travel to get to the limited number of HS2 stations.

It’s also fairly obvious that the price of oil and other commodities will continue to increase and that travel will become much more expensive in the future.

With the current, almost daily, dire economic news it makes no sense to spend time, money and effort on a project that has little obvious merit.

Peter Harcourt, Starbold Crescent, Knowle

 

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