Reductions in numbers of qualified nurses, ‘new roles’ for Oxfordshire’s community hospitals and fewer beds in the John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospitals are being considered by cash-strapped health bosses.
A leaked document this morning reveals the measures are part of a cost-cutting exercise to save £479m across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire.
The joint plans said much of the savings would come from prevention and a shift from hospital care to care at home or in local communities.
This included ‘a shift of acute activity away from the John Radcliffe and Horton hospitals’ and a ‘redesign of community hospital care’. There would also be ‘changes’ in obstetric services and paediatrics at the Horton, it added.
Across all three areas, ‘workforce savings’ of £34m have also been proposed.
It said this meant ‘skill mix changes to support a more flexible workforce– use of generic support workers’, including a ‘reduction of nursing grade input’ and ‘increased use’ of less-qualified healthcare assistants and ‘physician associates’ who support doctors.
The document, a ‘sustainability and transformation plan’, is one of several controversial plans developed largely in secret by NHS officials.
Full story in The Herald, 16 November 2016