The government has tasked local NHS bosses with the challenge of cutting a deficit, to the tune of £19 million… by March.
Come Spring, health trusts are set to hand over spending powers to new Clinical Commissioning Groups, or ‘CCG’s – decision-making bodies comprised of local GPs. The NHS North Yorkshire and York trust faces the particularly daunting task of recouping a cool £10 million through short-term cuts. The side-effects are likely to be painfully tangible for local patients.
The extensive list of measures proposed includes a review of non-emergency surgery, an end to routine invitations for outpatient follow-up tests, a review of Minor Injury Unit opening hours with a view to some closures, a review of community hospital beds, again with a view to some closures and a move to cheaper drugs which deliver the same results where possible. These measures could clearly lead to greater exposure to discomfort for patients and – more gravely – may result in conditions going undetected in patients delayed by deepened logistical challenges or denied follow-up examinations. The NHS North Yorkshire and York Trust’s Medical Director, Dr. David Geddes, also suggests the cuts will mean a temporary halt to services such as “toenails, lumps, bumps and injections into joints”, which could leave some patients in poor shape, aesthetically speaking at the very least.
It’s feared that the new proposals could drive numerous patients to seek private health care – something not accessible to all.
Let us know what you think about the cuts below…