A health policy expert from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) believes a five-year plan by the NHS to save money by cutting beds in Leicestershire is likely to put the safety of patients at risk.
Dr Sally Ruane, deputy director of the health policy research policy unit at DMU, said the proposal – which involves the closure of more than 280 beds across Leicestershire and Rutland – will mean more pressure on services, loss of staff, longer travel times for patients and a demoralisation of the remaining workforce.
Local NHS leaders who, created the sustainability and transformation plan (STP), said carrying out its proposals will save £412 million a year from the regional budget.
But after studying the plan, Dr Ruane has compiled a report which concludes that the proposals are “unfit for purpose” and that they will achieve “neither improved health outcomes nor the financial savings it claims it will make”.
Under the STP, hundreds of acute beds at Leicester General Hospital will be lost.