Tag Archives: sustainability

NHS blows £21 million on consultants telling them how to cut costs

If they want to save money, why not dispense with the consultants and think for themselves? Who are the experts, after all?

Health and social care bosses across England have spent £21m on management consultants to help draw up plans to overhaul regional NHS services.

A Pulse investigation, based on Freedom of Information request to all 44 ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’ (STP) regions, found that some areas have spent millions of pounds on external consultants to help them draw up the plans, which in many cases involve cutting frontline services.

Local GP leaders said these sums were ‘difficult to justify’ when money was being removed from frontline services.

The plans were first announced in December 2015, with the aim of making £22bn worth of cuts to the health services by 2020/21.


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Health/Wellbeing Boards, Councils unanimously reject NHS ‘sustainability’ plan | The SKWAWKBOX

[Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

[Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

A commenter to this Blog has suggested that there is “no opposition” to the Conservative Government.

What’s this, then?

The ‘Health and Wellbeing Boards’ (HWBs) of Liverpool and Cheshire West and Chester, together with Wirral Council’s ‘Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ and Sefton council in the north of Merseyside, have unanimously rejected the government-imposed ‘STP’ (Sustainability and Transformation Plan) for Merseyside and Cheshire. Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has indicated that Liverpool City Council will also reject the plan, which will involve reducing the area’s NHS budget by a staggering £540 million over the next two years.

These organisations join a growing list of councils and HWBs, including Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing, in rejecting “secretive” closure plans.

NHS England, ordered by the government to find £20 billion in ‘savings’, describes STPs as “a new approach to help ensure that health and care services are built around the needs of local populations”, but Liverpool’s local STP lead has, according to Mayor Anderson, frankly admits that “the changes are all about cost-cutting” and that, while supposedly still in the ‘consultation’ phase, contracts have already started to be negotiated and even awarded under the STP.

Liverpool’s Mayor also disclosed that, when challenged about how services could possibly be maintained, she suggested that councils should cover it by borrowing, “as they can get good rates”.

Liverpool City Council has already suffered budget cuts of 58% since 2010, with a further £19m about to be cut by government. Borrowing even to maintain essential council services will be difficult, let alone to patch holes in the NHS – but this is the mentality of those tasked with implementing STPs.

Source: Health/Wellbeing Boards, Councils unanimously reject NHS ‘sustainability’ plan | The SKWAWKBOX

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A&E, cancer and maternity units to close in major vandalism on NHS by Tories and their stooges

Prof Sir Bruce Keogh argues that centralising some types of medical care benefits patients. Does anybody accept that, in this context? [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images].

Prof Sir Bruce Keogh argues that centralising some types of medical care benefits patients. Does anybody accept that, in this context? [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images].


This is not an overhaul, because overhaul implies improvement. This is an act of vandalism on England’s life support machine.

You don’t close down a unit that could give valuable life-saving treatment to somebody – when it matters – and tell them to trek who-knows-how-many-miles down the road instead. They’ll be dead on arrival.

Sir Bruce Keogh can say whatever Jeremy Hunt tells him to, and I’ll call him a Tory stooge, because that’s what he is – and a dangerous liability to the health service, and the health of people across England.

How much more of this homicidal stupidity do we have to take?

When do the Tories cross the line?

Do we have to wait until people start to die – after these reckless and irresponsible plans are put into action and the health service cut beyond its ability to cope?

Or should the people who actually do the work in the health service just say enough is enough and refuse to go through with it?

I know it’s not a practical solution but neither is a plan for “sustainability and transformation” that transforms our internationally-revered health system into a death trap.

These so-called plans have gone too far already. They’re to be ripped up and a strong – and lasting – message sent to the swine who created them.

And the next person to see Jeremy Hunt should actually kick his ass. Hard.

Thousands of hospital beds are set to disappear, pregnant women will face long trips to give birth and a string of A&E units will be downgraded or even closed altogether as part of controversial NHS plans to reorganise healthcare in England.

A Guardian analysis of the 24 NHS regional plans that have now been published – more than half the total of 44 – has found that health service chiefs plan to push through an unprecedented centralisation of key hospital services across England.

Opposition to the plans is growing among campaign groups, councillors and a growing number of MPs, including Conservatives, in areas where major changes are planned amid fears that patients will be unable to access urgent care quickly enough.

Source: A&E, cancer and maternity units to close in major NHS overhaul | Society | The Guardian

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If street protests can stop hospital closures, get your banners painted now

Plans to shut down Lewisham's A&E and maternity units sparked protests in 2013 [Image: Telegraph].

Plans to shut down Lewisham’s A&E and maternity units sparked protests in 2013 [Image: Telegraph].


There is nothing “sustainable” about the Tory “transformation plans” for the National Health Service.

A commenter on This Blog’s Facebook page made this excellent point yesterday:

So what’s the Tory solution to overstretched A&Es in two Shropshire hospitals? Shut one of them down!

“Currently both of these hospitals are understaffed, underfunded and overstretched. If only one is kept open, most patients from the other area will have a minimum of an extra 20 minutes on their ambulance journey.

“Patients will die en route and the remaining A&E department will be even more overstretched and fail.

“Cynical, even sociopathic!”

Exactly right.

The Tory way of fixing the health service would choke it up completely and make it impossible for people to get treatment in a reasonable manner within a reasonable time period.

Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May and their cronies need to be stopped.

If that can be achieved by taking to the streets for a couple of hours, it is a tiny price to pay to keep a service that could save your life at some point in the future.

Hospital closures planned to shore up NHS finances could be derailed if enough people take to the streets in protest, a health service chief has said.

Chris Hopson, leader of England’s hospitals sector, said public unrest and opposition by local MPs could scupper so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), which are billed as crucial to the long-term viability of the health service.

On Monday the respected think tank The King’s Fund heavily criticised health bosses for trying to organise the sweeping closure of hospitals and NHS units in secret, moves which it said could put lives at risk.

Source: Street protests could halt hospital closures – NHS boss

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