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Saturday 26th May 2018

PCTs blamed for protests

26th October 2006

25072006_emptybed1.jpgPublic protest against local NHS shake-ups could have been avoided by better management, says health minister Lord Warner.

Primary care trusts are also facing criticism from MPs, over their handling of reconfigurations, and stand accused of failing to carry out meaningful consultation with patients. In many cases patients felt the plans were already a foregone conclusion, while scrutiny committees set up to oversee NHS trusts were buried in a mountain of paperwork.

Health minister Lord Warner admitted to members of the Conservative-backed Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together (CHANT) group that some trusts were 'pretty inept' when it came to consultations on service change.

His comments came after the release of figures that showed nine out of ten hospitals closed in the last six months were not in Labour constituencies. The report from the Community Hospitals Association, working with CHANT, showed community hospitals in constituencies held by opposition MPs were seven times more likely to be threatened with closure than those in Labour seats.

Lord Warner, the minister for reform, said it was down to individual PCT directors to account for their spending to the communities they served. On the issue of hospital closures, he said clinical and technical advancements meant health facilities were changing.

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