Letters: Dan O’Connor, February 10, 2017

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How utterly ludicrous that Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is now being forced to “borrow” £21.7 million from the Government – because the Government has, in the first place, failed to provide the hospital with the funding that it needs to meet patient needs.

The hospital has also been told that because of its artificial deficit as a penalty it is likely to lose out on £4.6 million of extra money. What effect does this funding farce have on the morale of QEH staff who struggle diligently to provide us with good hospital care? This news comes at the same time we hear that: an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in Kent is trying to “save” £3.2m by delaying non-urgent operations until next April; nursing degree applications have slumped nationally after NHS student bursaries have been abolished; the Government is trying to force already overstretched and depleted GP workforce to see patients 12 hours a day, seven days a week; swinging cuts to funding for PMS GP surgeries over four years are due to start in April; the Government is trying to push through a further £22 billion in cuts/savings to our health services over five years – using 44 STPs, so called sustainability and transformation plans, drawn up without patient or clinician involvement. We have fewer hospital beds and fewer GPs per head than almost any other country in the EU.

Although we are the sixth wealthiest nation on the planet, we spend less of our GDP per head on healthcare than any of the major, and most of the smaller, countries in Europe. This Government and its ineffective Health Secretary, bleat on and on that we can’t afford the money – our money – that a decent Health Service desperately needs.

Two weeks ago I asked NHS West Norfolk CCG to explain to readers of the Lynn News how exactly as part of the Government’s Norfolk STP, it was going to cut/save £80m plus from our health services in West Norfolk – including how the CCG planned to implement 20 per cent cuts to emergency hospital admissions, A&E attendances and acute bed days. Readers are still waiting for the CCG’s explanation.

Dan O’Connor

Nile Road, Downham