Controversial NHS shake-up will cost £150m of taxpayers’ money

A controversial plan to transform NHS services and make savings will itself cost £150m of taxpayer cash to deliver, it has been revealed.

Health bosses have asked NHS England for the vast sum to carry out their sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for the the region.

The figure was uncovered by the British Medical Association, which is concerned the ongoing national health shake-up is becoming ‘unworkable’, and those involved in the plans could not confirm what the £150m would pay for.

Campaigners have hit out at the cost, warning the process could end up coasting more than it saves. It comes as a spike in ‘bed-blocking’ in Oxfordshire’s hospitals has again been reported despite optimism that the problem had been dealt with last year.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group spokeswoman Rachel McQuilliam said: “The £150m was an estimate of capital needed over a five year period. Investment is needed in buildings and technology to modernise the NHS and how care is delivered. The process of confirming capital requirements is currently ongoing.”

Efforts to produce the STP are being led by 10 clinical commissioning groups across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire West, led by OCCG’s chief executive David Smith.

Full story in The Oxford Mail, 27 February 2017