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NHS cuts force patients to wait for treatment

30th March 2011

NHS managers have conceded that patients are being made to wait longer for treatment as the health service makes cost cuts.

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There is evidence of hospitals being told to delay treatments to save cash while elsewhere GPs are finding they are having to tell patients they cannot be operated on until their conditions get worse.

The Primary Care Trust Network admits the position is undesirable and will prove unpopular.

It comes as the NHS is facing the challenge of making £20 billion of savings over the next three years and is about to undergo a major shake-up in terms of commissioning and management structures.

The claims come in a submission by the PCT Network to the Co-operation and Competition Panel, which is looking into allegations that NHS managers are trying to reduce the amount of business private providers receive.

In a letter, Director of the PCT Network David Stout, says: “From the information we have received from PCTs, it is the case that in a context of financial constraint, a number have reluctantly decided to temporarily reduce activity levels this year to help contain costs, by asking providers to extend (or not further reduce) their waiting times.”

He said that PCTs, working with their practice-based commissioners, are reviewing referral thresholds and guidelines.

“Where choice of provider is appropriate, patients are still being offered this once a decision to refer has been taken, albeit with a longer waiting time or higher treatment threshold,” he said.

 But he said PCTs do not believe they are breaching any rules.

 

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Comments

Thomas Denny

Tuesday 12th April 2011 @ 9:26

whilst i appreciate this does not directly address this problem but along with thousands of other people this government needs to stop giving money to other countries and spend it on the nhs.
another point of anger is the lack of very hard rules that people from outside the eu using the nhs as a
free asset, the government needs to put into action rules that need these people to pay up front first.


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