38 Degrees | NHS Cuts

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15 November 2016

Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has a plan to cut NHS services across England – A&Es, GP surgeries, and hospital wards. [1] He tried to keep them secret for as long as possible, but now he’s quietly publishing them one-by-one.[2]

The plans are almost impossible to understand. They’re packed full of jargon and figures. But hidden within them are plans to cut hospital beds and close A&Es – and they could be rolled out in just a few months. [3] So unless we dig into the details, we won’t know what’s in store for our NHS until it’s too late.

Together, we’ve exposed Jeremy Hunt’s secret plans before – so we know this works. This summer thousands of us chipped in to investigate the first draft of the plans. [4] It made headlines from BBC News to the front page of the Guardian, and our people-powered research was even quoted in Parliament. MPs were shocked and have been speaking out since. [5]

The experts are all ready to go again, and journalists are eager to know what’s going on. But the plans are too complicated for most of us to understand. They’re full of spreadsheets and charts, and without experts investigating, no one will know what they really mean for patients.

Our NHS is worth fighting for. It’s always there for us when we need it – from birth, throughout our lives and in our final days. Lots of us say that the NHS is one of the things that makes us most proud of being British. It’s time to stand up for our NHS again.

Thanks for being involved,

Charlotte, Amy, Laura and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] These plans are called “Sustainability and Transformation plans”. NHS England has split England into 44 areas, and forced each area to create emergency plans to cut costs. It’s Jeremy Hunt and the government who are ultimately responsible for these cuts – they’re not giving the NHS the money it needs. Instead, they’re squeezing the budget so hard there is no option but cuts.
NHS England: Sustainability and transformation plans:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/futurenhs/deliver-forward-view/stp/
NHS England: Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/stp-footprints-march-2016.pdf

[2] So far, 14 STPs have been published but this number is going up steadily. They are:
Northumberland,
Tyne, Wear and North Durham
Darlington and Tees
West Yorkshire
Lancashire and South Cumbria
Merseyside, Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral
Birmingham and Solihull
Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedfordshire
North West London
South East London
South West London
North East London
Dorset
Somerset
Devon
Health Service Journal (behind a paywall): Which STPs have been published so far?
https://www.hsj.co.uk/topics/stps/mapped-which-stps-have-been-published-so-far/7013064.article
BBC News: NHS bosses ‘trying to keep cuts secret’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37943379

[3] A picture is emerging bit by bit about what these plans could mean for patients.
BBC News: NHS cuts ‘planned across England’:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37186455
The Telegraph: Almost half of NHS authorities to cut hospital beds and third to close A&E:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/30/almost-half-of-nhs-authorities-to-cut-hospital-beds-and-third-to/

[4] Short video of 38 Degrees’ NHS media coverage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D88l_LBN-20

[5] A record of a debate in Parliament about Sustainability and Transformation plans, 14th September 2016:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2016-09-14/debates/16091433000002/NHSSustainabilityAndTransformationPlans

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