Barnet's Labour councillors have slammed a secret cuts plan for North Central London NHS uncovered by The Guardian which could mean patients in Barnet waiting even longer for operations, patients being denied access to an increased number of treatments, cuts to financial support for patients with serious, long term conditions including brain damage, downgrading or closure of hospital units and doctors spending less on drugs.
The 31 page internal NHS document leaked to The Guardian outlines the choices they believe need to be made to plug the £183.1m budget gap across the 10 NHS trusts in North Central London, spanning the five boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Haringey, Enfield and Islington.
Clinicians and NHS staff have expressed deep concern, with the Royal College of Surgeons calling the changes "devastating" to healthcare provision.
Barnet Labour is calling for an immediate halt to the implementation of these plans until a full consultation can take place and residents' views can be heard and the plans can be properly scrutinised and debated in public.
Labour's Health Spokesperson, Cllr Phil Cohen will be raising the issue in a member's item (see notes below) at the next Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 3 July.
Cllr Phil Cohen said: "The proposed cuts to our NHS detailed in this secret plan are driven entirely by the Government's austerity agenda and not clinical need. They will without doubt lead to great suffering and harm to patients, who will have to wait longer for fewer procedures and not receive the follow-up care they need. The NHS is already under extreme pressure and such draconian measures would put at risk the very principles on which it was founded, namely equity, fairness and compassion. The Tories in Barnet have gone along with the Government's financial squeeze on the NHS and I call on them to oppose these cuts and listen to residents' views on the impact they would have on our communities."
1. A link to The Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/20/leak-shows-devastating-impact-of-planned-nhs-cuts-in-london
2. Text of Cllr Cohen's Member's Item to the 3 July Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC):
NHS Providers have called the plans "neither realistic nor reasonable" and say they should not be implemented without full and proper debate.These proposals stem from the Government’s financial squeeze on the NHS, which puts the responsibility on local NHS managers to find massive savings. It also threatens the ability of the NHS to meet people’s healthcare needs. It is hard to see how the Government’s Sustainability and Transformation (STP) plans can be implemented when the NHS is pre-occupied with making financial cuts of this kind.
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568