£16m hidden cost of latest NHS reforms
Reporter: BEATRIZ AYALA
Date published: 05 December 2011
NHS Oldham is being forced to shell out £16 million in hidden costs for the Government’s NHS reorganisation plans.
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said new coalition Government guidelines will force local NHS trusts to put aside extra money from this year and next year’s budgets to pay for the restructure.
Mrs Abrahams said forcing NHS trusts to hold back millions of pounds while thousands of nursing jobs were being axed was “scandalous”.
She said: “People in Oldham have already seen a 107 per cent increase in the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment since Mr Cameron became Prime Minister (May, 2010).
“Before his plans are even fully through Parliament this reorganisation is hitting the NHS hard and costs are now topping £3.4 billion across the country for the first time.
“Spending this amount on an unnecessary reorganisation is totally unjustifiable when every single penny should be focused on maintaining standards of care.”
Mrs Abrahams said the financial request took the nationwide cost of the NHS reorganisation above previous estimates of £2-£3 billion, with primary care trusts now holding back £3.44 billion over two years.
She said: “The people of Oldham did not vote for it and our doctors, nurses and patients have already expressed huge concerns at the plans.
“Yet Cameron is ploughing on with his health bill, ignoring public and professional opinion.
“Leading doctors from the British Medical Association voted to call for an immediate halt to the Government’s costly and controversial Health Bill — the first time they have rejected the bill entirely.
“The time has come for him to listen, put the NHS first and drop his dangerous bill.”
Labour is urging residents to call on the Government to drop its unwanted Health Bill and add their name to an online petition at www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk