Extra five million of cuts a threat to care

CREDIT: This story was first seen on BMA News

Waiting times could be extended and cancer diagnostics and treatment for children with complex needs cut, as part of plans to meet demanding NHS budget controls, BMA News reports.

The revelations are the latest regarding the capped expenditure programme, which dictates that 13 areas across England have to push through extra savings to meet financial cuts dictated by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The plan for South Gloucestershire was released to campaign group 38 Degrees after a Freedom of Information request and details £5m of extra cuts needed in the area – with cancer diagnostics, neurological rehabilitation and children’s continuing care all areas being considered for cuts.

The documents also suggest the ‘bulk’ of the £5m could be made through ‘reduction in referral to treatment performance’ – meaning patients will have to wait longer for non-urgent operations.

38 Degrees campaigner Holly Maltby said: ‘These plans shed light on just how seriously patient care in South Gloucestershire could be affected.’

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire CCG said: ‘In recent years, health spending in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire has exceeded the £1.15bn budget and there is a growing deficit.

‘We have to live within our means to make the best use of taxpayers’ money and ensure there are affordable, high-quality health services for our population.

‘We have been very open about the requirement to make savings in order to protect services for the long term.

‘Many of the proposed changes will improve patients’ experience of services. Others will have no impact on patients but will improve efficiency within NHS organisations.’

BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘These plans for yet more crippling cuts will have serious consequences.’

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