A Carnforth GP has condemned new plans for severe NHS cuts in 13 areas including Morecambe Bay, which are shrouded in secrecy and could cause ‘uproar’.
Health service leaders have refused to publish details of plans for severe cuts that could extend waiting times, reduce access to services, cut down on prescriptions and treatments, and even merge or close hospitals and facilities.
British Medical Association Council deputy chair and Carnforth GP Dr David Wrigley said: “These plans could have serious consequences for doctors working on the frontline and for the care and treatment patients receive and can expect in hospitals and GP surgeries in these areas.
“It is bad enough that brutal cuts could threaten the services but it is totally unacceptable that proposals of this scale, which would affect large numbers of patients, are shrouded in such secrecy.”
The Capped Expenditure Process (CEP) was introduced in April 2017 and instructs NHS commissioners and providers in 13 areas across England with the largest budget deficits(including Morecambe Bay Hospitals Trust) to make considerable cuts in order to achieve financial balance by next April 1.MP David Morris said: “We have yet to see any scaremongering story that originated from Dr David Wrigley either as himself or under the guise of the Labour Party come to fruition.
“Our area is being asked to relook at its finances and to come up with ideas to bring our health budget locally back into financial balance.
“These ideas are in extremely early stages and any ideas the Trust comes up with will be tested for patient impact and considered formally. The Trust and the CCG have assured me that no ideas will be implemented which compromise the safety of patients or staff”
Andrew Bennett, Chief Officer, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As leaders of the Morecambe Bay Health and Care system, we have come under significant pressure to consider all available options, however difficult, to close the financial gap at a greater pace.
“However, we must be clear, we will not adopt an approach which could compromise the safety of our patients or workforce – their safety remains our priority.”