Accident and Emergency departments facing cull in NHS cost-cutting plan

0
312

Almost half of NHS Trusts say they plan to reduce numbers of hospital beds in a bid to save costs.
Not only that, according to new research, a third are putting forward proposals to close Accident and Emergency wards.
The figures come on the back of a survey of NHS bosses at clinical commissioning groups, which asked questions about any planned cuts within the next 18 months.
Around a fifth said they were looking at moves to close consultant-led maternity hospitals, while half of respondents said they would be either shutting down or downgrading community hospitals.
Some 25 per cent of hospitals said they expected to be making job cuts within that time period, while the same sort of number said they would be shutting paediatric wards where inpatients were treated.
The survey comes followinga mammoth £2.4 billion deficit recorded by the NHS for the last financial year.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has recently come in for criticism for failing to fund the NHS to promised levels.
A committee of leading MPs found that even though Mr Hunt claimed to be bolstering the NHS to the tune of £8.4 billion on top of inflation by the 2020/21 financial year, the real figure was more likely to be around the £4.5 billion mark.
The committee said the Government deliberately used misleading spending definitions to make it look as if the NHS was receiving more to spend than it is.
However, a Department for Health spokesperson said it was fully aware of the pressures faced by the NHS.
A statement said that an updated healthcare system was now necessary which prioritised access to family doctors, better cancer care and improved treatment for those suffering from mental health conditions.
It added:“The NHS is using Sustainability and Transformation Plans to help deliver this change. No decisions have been made and none will occur without local consultation.”
Mr Hunt has recently announced that debt collectors will be used to recoup huge losses being suffered by NHS hospitals which are treating visitors from overseas, who are not entitled to free treatment, and are then failing to collect the money.
A report released earlier this week by the National Audit Office (NAO) found that NHS Trusts managed to collect only £255 million of at least £500 million that was spent on treating health tourists over the last year.

LEAVE A REPLY