Labour can now reveal the hidden cost of the Government’s wasteful NHS reorganisation in Southampton. New guidelines will force Southampton City NHS to put aside £15,877,924 from their budget this year and next to pay for a costly NHS restructure that David Cameron repeatedly ruled out.
Before his plans are even fully through Parliament, David Cameron’s reorganisation is hitting the NHS hard and costs are now topping £3.4bn across the country for the first time. Spending this amount on an unnecessary reorganisation is totally unjustifiable when every single penny should be focused on maintaining standards of care.
At the election Cameron ruled out top-down NHS reorganisations. But only weeks after entering Number 10, he ripped up his own words and ordered the biggest and most dangerous upheaval of the NHS since it began.
The financial request is buried in the Government’s new NHS ‘Operating Framework’ document and takes the nationwide cost of the NHS reorganisation above previous estimates of £2-3bn, with Primary Care Trusts now holding back £3.44bn over two years.
Last Thursday evening leading doctors from the British Medical Association voted to call for an immediate halt to the Government’s costly and controversial Health Bill.
John Denham MP said:
“These shocking new figures show the Government’s reorganisation is costing the NHS even more than we first feared. It is scandalous that they are telling our local NHS to hold back millions of pounds for their own reckless plans whilst thousands of nursing jobs are being axed.
“Southampton has already seen a 132% increase in the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment since Cameron became Prime Minister.
“The people of Southampton did not vote for it and our doctors, nurses and patients have already expressed huge concerns at the plans. Yet Cameron is ploughing on with his Health Bill, ignoring public and professional opinion. The time has come for him to listen, put the NHS first and drop his dangerous Bill.”
Labour is running a major national drive to unite the country in a call on the Government to drop its unwanted Health Bill and people are being urged to add their name to the Government online petition by Dr Kailash Chand at epetitions.direct.gov.uk.
Labour’s top five reasons for opposing the Bill:
- The Bill will break up the NHS and create an unfair postcode lottery. With no national standards, there will be widespread variation in the treatments available on the NHS. In some areas, people may have to go private to get services available for free elsewhere.
- The Bill risks rises in waiting times and a two-tier NHS. It scraps the cap on hospitals treating private patients at the same time as watering down guarantees on NHS waiting times. This means local hospitals will be free to treat more private patients and make NHS patients wait longer.
- The Bill turns the NHS into a full-blown commercial market, putting competition before patient care. It allows private companies to cherry-pick quick profits, potentially forcing local hospitals to go bust. Hospitals could even be fined for working together.
- The Bill undermines the bond of trust between doctors and patients. It creates conflicts of interest where financial incentives could interfere with medical decisions. GPs could even get a bonus for rationing your care.
- This Bill is wasting money and creating bureaucracy. It is unforgivable to spend £3.5 billion on a reckless re-organisation when the NHS needs every penny it can get for patient care. Nearly £1 billion is being wasted on pay-offs for managers, only for many of them to be re-employed as consultants.