Arguments over NHS Cuts continue
Cutting Support staff by cutting corners on cleaners has meant an increase in dirty hospitals, the NHS is being forced to continue its dangerous crash diet of cuts as waiting times lengthen and more treatments are rationed, the reforms are bound to raise arguments over whether the NHS is actually capable of delivering what it is supposed to do......
Pressure is building on ministers over the NHS reforms in England after a critical report by the MP's health select committee which said the overhaul was hindering the ability of the NHS to make the savings the equivalent of 4% a year it needs to safeguard its future.
It said there had been too much emphasis so far on short-term cuts and "salami-slicing", instead of rethinking the way care is delivered. And it argued there needed to be more integration with social care to stop people needing hospital treatment, which tends to be more expensive. But it warned that in some ways the opposite was happening as councils were increasingly restricting access to services. On the reforms, it concluded they were "complicating" the savings process because they were acting as a "disruption and distraction".
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has again defended the reforms, saying they were "essential" for improving the NHS. but the decision last week by the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Nursing to move to "outright opposition" said the bill underpinning the changes should be scrapped and the British Medical Association is also moving to outright opposition. Later this week a host of professional health bodies are meeting to discuss the reforms and there effect on hospital standards, if they come out with a strong rejection of the plans it will be even more difficult for ministers to accept the reforms bill.
Rachael Maskell, of the Unite union, said the report should be the "final nail in the coffin" for the bill and BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said the plans will prove harmful to patients. The health select committee say it's distracting - we would say it's completely unnecessary and somewhat dangerous.
"As the Health Select Committee say, it's taking everybody's mind off the real issues, which is trying to run an efficient health service, trying to make changes to the health service for the benefit of patients, and, at the same time, trying to identify savings."
Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the plans will pose a threat to patient safety and the future of the NHS itself.
"We completely concur that money has to be saved. We've never disputed that, it's the way they're going about it."