Secret NHS cost-cutting plans sound ‘death knell’ for British healthcare, warn campaigners

Extended waiting times, ward and service closures, and withdrawal of public funding for some treatments among proposals in new national savings drive

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).

The “truly shocking” scale of the proposed cuts and closures represent a “death knell” for the values of the NHS, said Louise Irvine, the GP hoping to unseat Jeremy Hunt on Thursday.

Dr Irvine, who is standing for the National Health Action Party in the Health Secretary’s constituency South West Surrey, told The Independent it is “fundamentally dishonest of the Conservatives not to have brought it up before the election.”

“Somebody leaked this because they want to sound the alarm,” she said. “If people are voting they have a right to know this is on the cards.”

For full article see The Independent 6 June 2017