Warwick Hospital to lose all stroke services

The first stage of the Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – which covers NHS spending over the next five years in a bid to save £267million – has seen proposals to cut all 12 specialist stroke beds at Warwick Hospital, and remove treatment facilities for those at risk of mini-strokes.

George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and Rugby St Cross Hospital would also lose 24 stroke beds between them.

All patients from across Warwickshire will instead be taken to University Hospital Coventry, where an extra six ‘hyper-acute’ care beds are being made available for those who have just suffered a stroke – taking the total beds up to 12.

There will also be 31 specialist stroke beds at the hospital – just one more than the 30 it previously had. . . .

 

Chairwoman Professor Anna Pollert said: “The plan is about cuts, and more ‘care in the community’ – with no mention of how this will be staffed and funding.

“The loss of acute stroke care across Warwickshire means people will have to travel further to visit those recovering in hospital. The CCGs’ answer is ‘We may provide a leaflet about transport options you can choose’. This is a joke.

“The engagement document does not explain how an already overcrowded UHCW can cope with more patients, and one fears that patients will be discharged too early. Who will care of them at home? ‘Care in the community’ usually means unpaid carers.”

Read more in the Leamington Observer

Senior doctors accuse Government of deliberately underfunding NHS to accelerate privatisation plans

This trend has been very obvious for some time, but it’s good to have it confirmed by the BMA:

The government is deliberately underfunding the NHS in an attempt to speed up its plans to privatise the health service, senior doctors have said.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) accused Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, of “consciously” creating a crisis in NHS hospitals while scapegoating doctors “to distract the public from an underfunded service under severe and intense strain”.

This is “in order to accelerate its transformation plans for private sector takeover of healthcare in England”, said the motion passed by representatives at the union’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth.

Read more in the Independent

“Devastating” NHS cuts for London

Patients will be denied treatment, waiting times for operations will lengthen and A&E and maternity units may be shut under secret NHS plans to impose unprecedented cuts to health spending in London.

According to an internal NHS document seen by the Guardian, doctors in five London boroughs will have to spend less on drugs, fewer patients will be referred to hospital and support for people with severe health needs will be cut as part of the plan.

It outlines the “difficult choices” NHS bosses nationally are forcing the 10 hospital trusts in north-central London to make in the next few months in order to plug a £183.1m gap in their finances. . . .

North Central London (NCL) is one of 14 areas of England where NHS England and NHS Improvement, the service’s twin regulators, are forcing hospital trusts to make far-reaching cuts during 2017-18 as part of the “capped expenditure process”. They have told local NHS leaders to “think the unthinkable” in their quest for savings.

Read more in the Guardian

Most of central London hospital to be sold off

NHS chiefs have stated as recently as March that “there have never been any plans to close Charing Cross hospital”, and in March 2015 the then prime minister, David Cameron, said it was “scaremongering” to suggest that the Charing Cross A&E department was earmarked for closure. The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, echoed the claims.

However, in the internal NHS documents the apparent downgrading of Charing Cross is outlined in great detail.

The plan is to axe 10 major services at Charing Cross – 24/7 A&E, emergency surgery, intensive care and a range of complex emergency and non-emergency medical and surgical treatments. The remaining services would be a series of outpatient and GP clinics, X-ray and CT scans, a pharmacy and an urgent care centre for “minor injuries and illnesses”. Around 300 acute beds will be lost.

Read the rest of this Guardian article

More Secret NHS Cuts

As if it were not enough that NHS England is bringing in cuts via the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ (Slash, Trash and Privatise) and is preparing the ground for privatisation with ‘Accountable Care Organisations’, Jeremy Hunt is now imposing the  ‘Capped Expenditure Process’. This was deviously and secretly slipped in while we were concentrating on the snap General Election, and the details have not been divulged.

The ‘Independent’ reports (6th June 2017):

Senior NHS managers are discussing secret cost-cutting plans to be announced after the General Election – measures that one chief executive described as the most extreme and difficult to hit the health service they had ever seen.

Extended waiting times, ward and service closures, and the withdrawal of public funding for some treatments are among the proposals in a new national savings drive designed to cap NHS spending, a leak has revealed.

Health bosses have been told to “think the unthinkable” when devising measures to save money in their regions, according to the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

See the Independent

and BBC

You can sign here a 38 Degrees petition to Jeremy Hunt which says:

Our NHS belongs to all of us. It’s too important for rushed, secret plans with no option but to cut services and close hospitals. We ask that you:

1) Reveal the details of the ‘capped expenditure process’ (CEP) which is forcing NHS bosses to ‘think the unthinkable’ to plug the funding gap in local services.

2) Give local NHS services the funding they need. NHS bosses should be able to make decisions based on what’s best for patients, not simply to plug a funding gap.

KONP post-election press release

Keep Our NHS Public reacted to the news of a hung parliament by saying that the NHS must be a top priority in any new government.

Keep Our NHS Public’s co-chair and retired consultant paediatrician Dr Tony O’Sullivan said:

With the Conservative loss of their majority, Labour and the other political parties now have the chance to give the people of this country what they want: a restored, public health service in the form of a publicly run NHS.

The new government will face many conflicting priorities, but the NHS must remain at the top of this list and not be swept aside by Brexit or security considerations. After years of systematic neglect and under-funding, the NHS is nearing collapse and needs swift and decisive action to restore it to the great public service it was and can be.

If Britain is to stand united, a fair health service is a pre-requisite. A strong economy first requires a strong NHS and a healthy and well-educated population. And at the moment it is grossly unfair that that nearly 4 million people are waiting for treatment; many are forced to travel further . Many others are forced to pay out of their own pockets if they can for the treatment they should be entitled to under the NHS and for which people pay their taxes. This travesty is completely avoidable and must stop. The NHS must be given the funds it needs. Privatisation in the NHS must be halted. The new government must redress the ills attacking our NHS and must do so immediately.