Lean times for the NHS10th November 2008
David Peat, chief executive of East Lancashire PCT and visiting fellow at Manchester Business School, warns that the NHS is facing lean times.
None of us are immune from the credit crunch, and that goes for health services.
The rise in energy costs are hitting health centres and hospitals and the drop in land values has affected plans for us at East Lancashire PCT to use the sale of NHS-owned land to fund new developments.
The bumper years of NHS investment are also slowing down, though that was always the government’s intention. However, the cash input has made advances - in care closer to home and meeting the 18-week target for hospital treatment. But now, it is crucial to keep an eye on the longer term.
We continue to make headway with our public health initiatives and will aim to keep the momentum going, despite the economic climate.
While none of us foresaw the full impact of the credit crunch, we always new that the 9-10% growth in expenditure would be reduced to 4.5-5.5%.
But as the recession affects more people we must be ready to help our patients, and staff, through this.
Our duty also lies with local enterprise, to pay our bills promptly while endeavouring to increase the quality of our services, life expectancy and quality of life.
Services may have to be tailored but we must protect patients and those frontline services.
And while we will encourage people to look after themselves better and properly access services, that goes for us too.
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