New plans could ‘slash, trash and privatise’ Coventry’s NHS, says city MP and GPs

NEW plans to shake-up the NHS have been branded ‘a serious threat to patient services’ by a Coventry MP. Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry North West, has said he is concerned the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Coventry and Warwickshire could see the closure or relocation of hospitals and A&E departments in the city.

The STPs, drawn up by each of the 44 regions across the country, have been branded by NHS England as a way of improving the health service and ensuring is future. But there are growing fears they will mean real term cuts to the health service as the NHS tries to implement £22billion of savings by 2021 to balance the books.

The local STP for Coventry and Warwickshire has been drawn up consultants for Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and led by Andy Hardy, Chief Executive for UHCW, and submitted to NHS England in October.

But there has been no public involvement in the process so far and only a limited public consultation process expected in January.

Arguing the STPs should be renamed ‘Slash, Trash and Privatise’, Mr Robinson said: “What we have here is another attempt to reorganise the NHS by stealth in the name of improved services.

“Given the enormous financial crisis facing the NHS, STPs are a device to further cut services, erode patient care, with the spectre of privatisation lurking in the background.”

Full story in The Coventry Observer 1 December 2016