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Major cuts for children's hospitals

1st November 2010

Department of Health proposals have suggested that top-up funds for children's hospitals could be reduced by up to two-thirds.

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At the present time, specialist paediatric units are given 78% more funding than other hospitals.

The extra funding is meant to take into consideration the more complex nature of each child case treated at a paediatric centre, which involve greater numbers of staff and more intensive monitoring.

According to a memo from the Department of Health from September, the top-up could be scaled back to 25% as part of a drive to improve hospital efficiency.

This would mean specialist units in England could miss out on over £70 million in funding.

The centres which would suffer the most from the cuts would be Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Sheffield Children's Hospital and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Mike Deegan, chief executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation trust, which manages Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, said: "The impact of this, if it comes about would be extremely serious in terms of the effect on clinical services."

"There is no doubt that services would be affected – there would have to be a major review of what is provided."

Shadow Health Secretary John Healey has written to Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, and stated that "no minister has made any mention in public or in Parliament about this big stealth cut to specialist children's hospitals".

 

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