It has emerged that secret plans for more NHS cuts are being drawn up. NHS England has carved up the NHS into 44 new ”footprint” areas which have been told to submit plans for cuts amounting to over £22bn. Called ”sustainability and transformation plans” all services have been told to come up with cuts.
Nothing is out of bounds: closing ‘ ‘ doctors’ surgeries or holding consultations via the internet .3; (yes, really), cutting staff and a“ shifting patients out of hospitals, 7 ‘ closing hospital wards or whole hospitals and merging neighbouring services. Rationing and charging for services is likely. It is an invitation for more privatisation.
Some of these have already been tried here. Andy Evans, CEO of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) with his Prime Ministerial salary of £140,000+ pa, controls local services —the Trusts – because he holds the budget and decides (along with an army of staff) what they will be paid for doing what. He decides what services survive, how may staff can be employed and if they go bust or not. Mostly he tried to balance the books by closing and selling off hospitals, sending patients to private providers or, of course, seeing them end up in A & E at the James Paget Hospital. These options have run out. Every single local NHS service is struggling and in debt yet the CCG is cutting their budgets further.
More Funds Not More Cuts
The NHS is chronically under-funded and understaffed. Cuts will not and cannot help. Patients still need to be treated and there are increasing numbers of them. Making them travel more miles to a bigger surgery or tens of miles to a surviving hospital will make care worse. Fewer NHS staff will make care worse. This country is very rich: those that hold most of that wealth and command most of that income should be taxed to fund the NHS. Corporations should be taxed to fund the NHS. We don’t need nuclear weapons or nuclear power stations. They should be cut, not the NHS.
Clinicians: Please Speak Out
The junior doctors are protecting NHS services by refusing to accept that too few doctors can be stretched even further. We know that doctors will leave and have left the NHS because thejob has become intolerable. We were told that clinicians would be put in charge of CCGs. Well, where are they now? If, instead of attacking junior doctors, the leaders of the Royal Colleges, the General Medical Council and the clinicians who sit on the CCG Boards publicly supported them, if they refused to approve cuts, these plans would collapse. We totally support the junior doctors in striking to defend the NHS.
The latest cut is the closure of Greyfriars Medical Centre in Great Yarmouth. Opened a few years’ ago to take pressure off the bulging A&E department in the James Paget it has been closed to save money and patients told to ring the (privately run) 111 service, or attend, yes, the bulging A&E Department.
There is a demonstration to protest against the cuts: Friday 30 September, 11am Greyfriars Centre, Howard Street, Gt. Yarmouth We will be there. Will the clinicians?