NHS cuts are a sad reality of life today, and it seems that facilities are getting taken away left, right and centre.
And sadly, news recently has revealed the areas of the country that look set to be hit the hardest by the latest round of cuts to the NHS.
So which areas of the UK will be hit the most?
It’s just been announced that mental health funding will take a severe hit in five areas – Sefton, Scarborough, St. Helens, Walsall, and the Isle of Wight – despite the recent focus on improving facilities, spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Heads Together campaign.
Similarly, the government had pledged to transform the way mental health issues were being treated, with Theresa May promising to tackle the “stigma” of the problem, by pouring an extra £1billion of funding into mental health services by 2021.
But these four areas are instead being asked to cut spending by £4.5 million.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP Committee, said: “This goes against the pronouncements of Government that mental health will have priority, that we will see more support in the community, the promises we’ve had that there will be greater numbers of mental health workers in primary care.
And they’re not the only areas that will be affected by cuts. Recently, every part of the National Health Service has also been set tough
“control totals”, which puts a limit on how much deficit can be
authorised. As a result, many services are close to reaching their
‘overdraft’ limits. Rumours are swirling that NHS authorities will also be
forced to close a number of Accident & Emergency departments around
the country, along with several maternity units.
According to analysis by the Health Service Journal, Staffordshire, Bristol, Gloucestershire, and North Somerset are the four places that are most likely to fall short of their strict targets to save money.
The research suggests that Staffordshire is set to miss its total by £68m – almost 4 per cent of its income.
In Staffordshire, health officials are apparently discussing the loss of the A&E departments from either Burton Queen’s Hospital, Royal Stoke University Hospital or County Hospital in Stafford.
It’s also been suggested by the analysis that Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will fall £45m short of their strict targets, with Gloucestershire set to miss its target by £28m, which is 3% of its income.
In March, health officials warned that if organisations couldn’t bring their deficits down, they would have to make “difficult choices”
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, said, “Some organisations and geographies have historically been substantially overspending their fair shares of NHS funding and their control totals…
“In effect they have been living off bail-outs arbitrarily taken from other parts of the country or from services such as mental health. This is no longer affordable or desirable.
“Going into 2017/18 it is critical that those geographies that are significantly out of balance now confront the difficult choices they have to take.
He continued, “Where necessary this may mean explicitly scaling back spending on locally unaffordable services, so that they go into the next two years with a viable and balanced income and expenditure plan.”