Thursday, June 07, 2018

£58m of Leicestershire health spending must be cut this year

From the Leicester Mercury:
More than £58 million must be cut from Leicestershire's healthcare spending this financial year, but there is concern that none of the organisations responsible for allocating cash to services have yet confirmed where savings will be made.
The Mercury also reports that members of the county council’s health scrutiny committee have accused the two of the counties clinical commissioning groups of being evasive about where the inevitable cuts will fall.

Two stalwart Leicestershire Lib Dems - David Bill and Matthew Hulbert - are quoted in the report.

I have yet to read anything from the county's Conservative MPs on this worrying development, but last month a motion expressing concern at the cuts and pressures faced by the health service received cross-party support at County Hall.

Click here to read about Liberal Democrat plans for a ring-fenced health and care tax.

As well as the real-terms cuts in funding there is an issue here about the diminished democracy with in the NHS.

The Wikipedia entry for community health councils demonstrates what has happened to it in recent years:
They were abolished in 2003 in England as part of the NHS Plan 2000. Unlike the other proposals in the Plan there was no preceding discussion about this move, nor any clear explanation for this decision, which aroused considerable unhappiness amongst the staff and members. 
In England a new structure, Public and Patient Involvement Forums, was established in 2003. These were replaced by local involvement networks (LINks) and these have now also been superseded in NHS England by the establishment - as a result of the English NHS reforms in 2012 - by new organisations called Healthwatch. These do not, however, have the same resources, statutory powers or responsibilities as CHCs.

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