15th October 2013
Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has reacted to Government proposals to cut the budget of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group. He said:
“The government has cut NHS investment since 2010 and this is having a real effect upon health services in Cumbria. This latest cut follows the revelations that some of the most wealthy parts of the country receive more than a hundred pounds per person extra than what Cumbrians receive for public health spending.
“Our CCG stands to see its budget cut at a time when our the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital have been told by the health care regulator (CQC) and Prof Sir Bruce Keogh that they need more staff to improve services. This requires more investment, not less.
“With more cuts to local health budgets, it makes it harder than ever to deliver Closer to Home and this cut is designed to push hospitals to increase the amount of private work that they do in order to try to recover lost revenue – this will mean longer waits and poorer outcomes for those who cannot pay.
“The government is forcing GPs and hospitals to charge for treatments that used to be free all over the country – including for hip and knee replacements and cataract removals – and increasingly, I’m being told of this happening more and more in Cumbria. Private providers are looking at a potential bonanza whilst NHS services are being set up to fail. In Cumbria, the effects of this government policy will be felt more harshly than anywhere else in the country.
“This isn’t just another cut to the NHS, it’s yet another example of the creeping privatisation of the NHS by this government.”