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NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans under the spotlight

dr-walker-nhap

Dr Carl Walker (5th from left above), a member of the NHA party’s executive committee, is scrutinising the press reporting of the new mass cuts regime currently being implemented across the NHS:

He sees, on one side the government and their appointed spokespeople, scrambling to assuage a newly anxious population with the soothing language of consolidation, reconfiguration, efficiency, and modernisation masking service cuts, lost beds and staff lay-offs and on the other, a variety of campaigning groups, doctors and politicians, “using an array of evidence to carefully unpack these reconfiguration fantasies”.

Reduced provision will lead to better provision – really?

The scale and imminence of cuts advocated and the PR, which has ‘critically departed from reality’ is shocking health professionals. It is reported that, in Dorset, the new Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) suggests that a ‘reduction in the number of sites’ would lead to a better provision of services ‘for more hours of the day and days of the week’. Dr Walker continues: “In Hampshire and Isle of Wight, commissioners are planning to make general practice more sustainable by cutting GP workload by almost a third, while also significantly reducing patients’ face-to-face contact with primary care . . .

“No amount of PR window dressing and STP gobbledegook will ever convince anyone that removing beds, services, A&E units and GP surgeries is going to lead to better patient care. Indeed the way in which STP plans are wrapping the extraordinary shrinking of our NHS in the language of better patient care has now stretched incredulity to a truly insulting level.

“Thus far, those who resist these cuts publicly have made salient points about poor public consultation and lack of democratic accountability, about GPs being excluded from the STP planning process . . .”

Read Dr Walker’s article here: http://nhap.org/friday-surgery-21/ and consider taking the recommended action.

Next: NHA news about the ‘revolving door’ at work in shaping the future of the NHS.