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NHS cost-cutting plans for Berkshire West are leaked

Report warns of huge shortfall by 2020 unless 'significant savings' are made

Dan Cooper

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Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

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PLANS to make massive cuts to NHS services in Berkshire have been leaked.

The NHS's draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire was made public by Reading Borough Council on Wednesday.

The report says NHS organisations and local authorities in the counties will be left with a £479m shortfall by 2020 unless substantial savings are made.

The forecast deficit for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust by 2020 is currently £45m and for the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), £59m.

To reduce the deficit, the NHS is proposing to make cuts and slash £34m from the workforces in the counties.

In the report, it says: "The proposals we are developing demonstrate how we can meet this figure through a combination of efficiency savings, delivering services in different and more cost effective ways and tackling areas of current service provision which deliver poor value for patients and taxpayers."

The NHS say the full plan is due to be published early in 2017, but added that none of the Berkshire West projects contain anything which requires public consultation.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) South East region has today responded to the news.

Patricia Marquis, RCN regional director in the South East, said: “We are seriously concerned with the plans laid out in this document to take out over £125m from the workforce budget - depleting staffing at the same time as demand for care continues to rise.

“The NHS could not run without its vital support staff, but the evidence is clear and long standing - where you have enough registered nurses you have better patient outcomes and fewer avoidable deaths.

“Registered nurses are highly educated and have wide clinical experience – they can spot signs of a patient deteriorating and take the action that is needed. Substituting registered nurses with support staff quite simply puts patient care and patients’ lives at risk.

“We agree there are improvements that can be made to the way services are delivered but the plan identifies a £479m funding gap over the next five years. The NHS simply needs more money.

“We are pleased to see the document lays out plans for improving retention, working on overseas recruitment and enhancing flexibility."

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Article comments

  • grumpy

    18/11/2016 - 11:11

    Don't waste money on unnecessary treatments - for example - if someone wants IVF - then let them pay for it. I someone wants a gastric band - let them pay for it.... etc etc

    Reply

    • Bobby

      18/11/2016 - 14:02

      Don't waste money on old people. They've had their time to live. Don't waste money on kids, as they're young and will recover better than old people. Actually come to think of it don't treat anyone as they don't deserve it. *sarcasm* Why not raise taxes and PAY for the NHS. As someone who has had to use it for a very serious reason you should be glad of it and want to pay for it. You never know when you might need it. Everyone in life makes unhealthy choices (and if you say you don't you're a liar). The NHS is a valuable tool and EVERYONE in the UK will need to make use of it as some point, and if you say/think you won't you're a fool. It's time to actually start paying for this service and making sure EVERYONE gets treatment without discrimination.

      Reply

      • grumpy

        18/11/2016 - 15:03

        You're missing my point Bobby. What i'm saying is self inflicted things (like Obesity) shouldn't be funded by NHS. And people that get so drunk they have to be hospitalised should be charged. And IVF should not be free. And no, I don't want to pay any more tax, because I pay loads already. :-(

        Reply

        • Bobby

          18/11/2016 - 15:03

          But what about things like cancer? That could be classed as self inflicted if you choose to have alcohol, cheap foods and live in a town with air pollution, as these are known to increase risk and cause it. Should they be denied treatment for their life choices? Or what about people with heart disease? If you choose to live in a town with air pollution there is a clear link to developing heart disease... Again due to an individuals choice to live where there is extreme air pollution should we deny them health care. The point is you sweeping statement that people who are obese or have fertility issues etc is wrong. How do YOU know that their issue is self inflicted? What if it's a circumstance of their environment? It's impossible to discriminate (simply asking "did you eat all the pies" is not good enough), so everyone should have access to health care for whatever reason they need. Well if you don't want to pay more you shouldn't expect any improvement to our services.

          Reply

        • grumpy

          18/11/2016 - 16:04

          Everyone has a choice when they eat too much, if you look in the mirror you can see you are gaining weight, so do something about it sooner. And as for fertility issues, if it isn't meant to be, adopt or foster ?? As for Cancer, yes of course they should get treatment.

          Reply

        • Bobby

          18/11/2016 - 18:06

          What if a person's genes predispose them to be "chunkier"? Should they be denied help? And on the cancer side, as I said in my earlier post it could be classed as self inflicted if you have an unhealthy lifestyle. Thats the same as eating too much. You know you take a risk for cancer by eating junk food or drinking etc., but people are treated without question for cancer. On the IVF side, what if a cancer sufferer has chemo and becomes infertile. That's not "if it's not meant to be'. That's a disease inhibiting your choices. Why should they be denied IVF? My point is, everyone's health needs are different and not clear cut. You can't discriminate these things as no two health cases are the same. Blanket health cover or not all. Personally I prefer a world where everyone has health cover for any ailment.

          Reply

        • Bobby

          18/11/2016 - 15:03

          But what about things like cancer? That could be classed as self inflicted if you choose to have alcohol, cheap foods and live in a town with air pollution, as these are known to increase risk and cause it. Should they be denied treatment for their life choices? Or what about people with heart disease? If you choose to live in a town with air pollution there is a clear link to developing heart disease... Again due to an individuals choice to live where there is extreme air pollution should we deny them health care. The point is you sweeping statement that people who are obese or have fertility issues etc is wrong. How do YOU know that their issue is self inflicted? What if it's a circumstance of their environment? It's impossible to discriminate (simply asking "did you eat all the pies" is not good enough), so everyone should have access to health care for whatever reason they need. Well if you don't want to pay more you shouldn't expect any improvement to our services.

          Reply

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