With the Government set to borrow a staggering £158 billion more than planned, thanks to the costs of growing unemployment and low growth, the last thing they should be doing is throwing away money.
Yet before their plans are even through Parliament, the Government’s wasteful reorganisation is hitting the NHS hard. Primary Care Trusts are to hold back £3.44 billion from the NHS frontline over two years, taking the cost of the NHS reorganisation above the £2-3 billion estimate 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.
The new guidelines, buried in the Government’s NHS 'Operating Framework' document, will force the local NHS here in Rotherham to put aside £17.6 million from their budget this year and next to pay for a costly restructure. With money siphoned off like that, it is not surprising waiting times are on the rise.
Last week leading doctors from the British Medical Association voted to call for an immediate halt to the costly and controversial Health and Social Care Bill. Yet the Prime Minister is ploughing on, continuing to ignore public and professional opinion. The time has come for him to listen, put the NHS first and drop his dangerous Bill.