News Date: Tuesday 13th June 2006
Labour NHS cuts threaten patient care says Tim
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton this week expressed concern at new figures showing worsening NHS deficits across the country. Inconsistent and poorly-planned Government policies have forced the NHS ?1.3 billion into the red, with NHS organisations now forced to respond to such massive deficits by making widespread cutbacks to frontline services. The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is currently operating with a deficit of nearly ?41 million, leaving staff destabilised and demoralised and patients understandably fearful of the level of service they can expect to receive in a 'cutback' climate.
"I very much value the hard work of public sector workers within the NHS. But their work and commitment to frontline services is being put at risk by the financial mismanagement of Ministers in Whitehall. Across the country, local hospitals are having to make cuts because their budgets are in the red. These figures will only serve to deepen the crisis of confidence in the Government's stewardship of the NHS.
"Patients, nurses and doctors deserve far more from the Government than botched reorganisations, inconsistent policies and now cutbacks and closures. It is clear that Labour can no longer claim to be the party of the NHS."
Note to Editor:
The Government published new financial figures for the accounts of NHS Trusts and Primary Care Trusts. The figures reveal a gross deficit of ?1.3 billion, and a net deficit of ?536 million. Only a ?524 million under-spend on NHS training budgets by Strategic Health Authorities prevented the net deficit being much larger (Department of Health, 2005-06 Financial Position, 8 June 2006).
In recent months, around 60 NHS Trusts have announced almost 17,500 job losses from NHS Trusts - which run England's hospitals.
The NHS has seen ten significant reorganisations since Labour came to power in 1997:
- Abolition of GP fundholding and the replacement of its functions by Primary Care Groups (1997).
- abolition of the central NHS Executive and the incorporation of its functions into the Department of Health (2000).
- Abolition of the eight regional offices of the NHS Executive and their replacement by 28 new Strategic Health Authorities (2002).
- Abolition of Primary Care Groups and the incorporation of their functions into 303 Primary Care Trusts (2002).
- Abolition of Health Authorities and the incorporation of their functions into Primary Care Trusts (2002).
- Creation of NHS Foundation Trusts (2003).
- Rationalisation of Strategic Health Authorities (2005).
- Rationalisation of Primary Care Trusts (2006).
- Rationalisation of NHS Ambulance Trusts (2006).
- Development of practice-based commissioning (ongoing).
For further details of the local impact of NHS cuts, please contact Tim Loughton's Westminster office on 020 7217 4471
Tim Loughton MP , 2006