London NHS patients to have essential care rationed under new Tory plan to save cash

Not for sale: That’s unless you live in North West London, it seems.

More than two million Londoners are set to have their NHS services rationed in a scheme to save cash that may do little for their health.

The Tories are using North West London as a testing ground for the scheme that will deprive patients of essential NHS services in order to save £60 million.

That’s right – unlike previous schemes that targeted elective treatments, this round of cuts will take away services that patients need.

I recall reporting on the rationing of hip operations in 2017. At the time I stated that I foresaw huge extra costs: “Either you spend a fortune having your hip operation done by a private company, or you cost the NHS a fortune in unnecessary further costs from delayed treatment and pain management.”

I think many Londoners may be induced into forking out to have their care provided by a private company – and/or having to rely on the NHS for help to manage complications caused by the rationing.

The programme of cuts was announced on the same day Boris Johnson reinforced a commitment to NHS spending. But then, what are his promises worth?

Apparently the NHS in that part of London has racked up debts of more than £120 million. I wonder how much of that has been caused by spending on unnecessary profit-driven health “care” companies?

Services to be hit include:

 Patients currently receiving treatment from more than one consultant may no longer be able to access treatment from both or all of the specialists.

 “Repatriation” of some acute treatment from various specialist hospitals to local ones.

 New scrutiny – described as “demand management” – of GPs who refer patients for acute treatment, with GPs being asked to look at “alternative ways” of dealing with patients’ needs.

 Reduction in intravenous feeds through “better prescribing”.

According to The Guardian,

North-west London has previously been the testing ground for major NHS blueprints across the country, such as Shaping A Healthier Future, a failed hospital closure programme which wasted £76m on management consultants alone.

Health campaigners fear that the cuts to essential NHS acute services contained in the list could be rolled out nationwide to deal with budget shortfalls.

I wonder how the Tories plan to hide the adverse effect of their changes on NHS patients?

Will they pretend the problems they create have “many causes”, as they do with the deaths of benefit claimants?

Source: London GPs told to restrict specialist referrals under new NHS ‘rationing’ plan | Society | The Guardian

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4 thoughts on “London NHS patients to have essential care rationed under new Tory plan to save cash

  1. Nicholas

    This is actually the principle of accountable care we are seeing in practice. Incentives for clinicians to deny care. A structure set up, institutionally, to push them to do that, rather than meet people’s healthcare needs. I think you may have reported on accountable care/integrated care/blabla that US model which Blair invited Kaiser Permanente and United Healthcare to come and help implement in the UK, following the application of elements of that same US model in the 1990 ‘internal market’. This is what is happening. A billion trillion pounds put into THAT system will still be inequitable and dangerous. The reason we are discussing funding in a political vacuum is that the Labour right’s line seeks not to highlight the problems with a US healthcare system that has been its policy just as much as the Tories’. This is why Ashworth is hankering to support planned Tory policy to rubber-stamp the ‘long term plan’s pursuit of accountable care, which since 2014 has been going on de facto, without legislation to justify it, let alone any public debate or announcement. This is the result of that policy line. That’s why we need a return to the Bevan model of provision according to need.

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