Friday, December 3, 2010

The Cruelest Cuts of All

I beg the prime minister to think again.

The Vital Work Our Children's Hospitals Do
Samantha Cameron became the patron of a ball to raise money for Great Ormond Street children hospital, while her husband prime minister David Cameron is slashing funding to children's hospitals.
The Cameron's son Ivan was treated at the hospital, which truly makes it all the more puzzling why they would slash funding to children's hospitals, knowing how vital they are to children and their families.

Great Ormond Street in London, Liverpool's Alder Hey and Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham children's hospitals are all braced for major cuts.

Health chiefs warn of "extremely serious" consequences for the care of critically-ill children.
And one of the chief executives has admitted privately that the whole future of his hospital is at stake if the money is taken away.

The budgets are being slashed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in a drive to make the hospitals more "efficient" - breaking a pre-election pledge from his leader David Cameron that he wouldn't cut frontline NHS services.

At the moment children's hospitals get a "top-up" tariff to pay for the extra staff and additional monitoring needed to provide specialist care to very young patients.

Currently, children's centres get paid 78% more than the rate paid to other hospitals for each procedure they perform. But Mr Lansley wants to slash this to just 25%.

Figures obtained by shadow Health Secretary John Healey reveal this will cost the children's hospitals millions of pounds in lost funding.

Great Ormond Street stands to lose £16.3million, a cut of nearly 20%.
Birmingham Children's Hospital will lose £12.8million, a cut of 15%;
Alder Hey £12.9million, a cut of 14.7%;
Sheffield £4.9million (9.6%)
Manchester £6.6million (9%).

The Mirror - In total, the five hospitals stand to lose £53.5million.
The hospitals say the cuts are much deeper than suggested by the Department of Health's own figures, which said Ormond Street would only lose £4.4million, Birmingham £2.3million, Alder Hey £1.1million and Sheffield £3.8million.

Andrew Lansley the health secretary is not being straight with people about his plans.

"Why isn't he telling us straight about the cuts he's planning to make?" he demanded. "These hospitals treat some of the most severely ill children in our country, and the planned cuts are just not on.
"Not content with breaking its promise to protect the NHS, the Government now looks set to slash funding of Some the vital services that specialist hospitals such as Great Ormond Street and Alder Hey provide.
"This is money they need for treating critically-ill kids.
"It could leave the hospitals millions of pounds short of the funding they need to see, diagnose, treat and help rehabilitate the most severely-ill children in this country," he said.

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