Local NHS chief: health service cuts not inevitable - The Rugby Observer

Local NHS chief: health service cuts not inevitable

Andy Morris 14th Sep, 2017   0

CUTS to health and social care services in Coventry and Warwickshire are not inevitable, the local NHS chief has told a public meeting.

Professor Andrew Hardy, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), said he wanted to spend money more efficiently in a bid to to save more than £260million over the next four years as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

He refuted claims he would need to scale back services at a health and social care forum organised by Healthwatch Warwickshire.

He said: “When the initial plan was leaked, people were saying it was about making cuts to NHS budgets. This is simply not true.

“What the plan said was that if we carried on doing things the way we were doing them now, we will be spending more money. The rate of expenditure will go up.

“Our challenge is how we are going to spend the money more effectively and efficiently, which is very different to making cuts. For example there is too much duplication – if we get things right first time it’s cheaper.

“But there has been no decision taken anywhere under an STP banner or anywhere else about service reorganisations at this point in time.”

Mr Hardy was addressing an audience of around 90 third sector professionals at Wolston Leisure and Community Centre.

Mr Hardy addressed an audience of around 90 third sector professionals at a health and social care forum organised by consumer organisation Healthwatch Warwickshire, held at Wolston Leisure and Community Centre. (s)

Shortly before the meeting he was presented with a 1,566-signature petition by members of Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public (KONP), calling for publication of full details of the financial, workforce and site plans.

Campaigner Martin Drew said: “We are arguing the case to keep the NHS in the public realm. We want consultation and are looking for full transparency on how the STP will affect the NHS workforce.”

Fellow petition signatory Sandra Smith from Rugby added: “At UHCW, nursing vacancies are at 19 per cent. The British Medical Association state that all proposals within these plans need to be evidence-based. Where was the evidence that these plans had received full consultation with clinicians, patients and the public on any of the proposed changes?”

During the meeting other keynote speakers included Chris Lewington, Head of Strategic Commissioning at Warwickshire County Council, and Beate Wagner, Head of Service for Children and Families in Warwickshire.

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