Concerns funding for 'secretive' healthcare plans dismissed - The Leamington Observer

Concerns funding for 'secretive' healthcare plans dismissed

Laura Kearns 26th Feb, 2018   0

CONCERNS about funding for ‘secretive’ healthcare plans have been dismissed by hospital bosses.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – which was recently renamed the Better Health, Better Care, Better Value programme – aims to see £267million saved over the next five years.

This will happen through delivering more care in the community and cuts to some hospital services.

But concern has been raised about the implementation of the proposals after extra government funding was used to cope with hospital winter pressures, which saw huge delays in A&E departments at the start of the year.

The whole NHS was given £1.8billion to implement the changes, but the National Audit Office reports that most of that money was used for a ‘quick fix’ over the winter period.

Chairwoman of campaign group South Warwickshire Keep Our NHS Public, Dr Anna Pollert, was concerned the money had been spent.

She told the Observer: “If the funds to smooth the reform have been swallowed up to fill short-funding gaps, what hope is there of pushing through these changes which, although aimed at savings in Coventry and Warwickshire, will need lots of money to implement?

“Now that funding to assist STP plan has been swallowed up, the people of Coventry and Warwickshire are entitled to answers to whether the STP’s changes are on hold and if not where the money is coming from.”

But STP chair Andy Hardy, who is also chief executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, said the plans were still in motion.

He told the Observer: “Better Health, Better Care, Better Value is continuing to develop programmes of work to help people in Coventry and Warwickshire live well, stay independent and enjoy life.

“We’re working together to help people stay healthy for longer through prevention, identify health problems earlier, support more people to manage long-term conditions at home and make sure that when they need them, patients have services in the right place and at the right time.

“We’re committed to working with patients, staff and local communities. As such, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with local groups and are keen they are involved in these discussions when they happen.”

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