Health savings won't pay off debts

SAVINGS made from the restructuring of health trusts will not be put towards paying off their huge debts, The Evening Star can reveal today.The government wants to slash the number of primary care trusts (PCTs), strategic health authorities (SHAs) and ambulance trusts, and reduce management costs by up to 15pc under new proposals called Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS.

SAVINGS made from the restructuring of health trusts will not be put towards paying off their huge debts, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The government wants to slash the number of primary care trusts (PCTs), strategic health authorities (SHAs) and ambulance trusts, and reduce management costs by up to 15pc under new proposals called Commissioning a Patient-Led NHS.

At a meeting in Kesgrave it emerged that all the money saved during the process will be diverted to breast and bowel cancer services and care for the terminally ill.

It is expected that Suffolk will receive around £3m of the £10m savings that will be made throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.


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The proposals were announced by the government at the end of last year and aim to reduce the number of health organisations in England. Health ministers claim this will help to reduce bureaucracy, improve patient care and save money.

Speaking at the meeting, Nigel Beverly , project manager for the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA, said: “These proposals are not about how and where services are delivered but about reducing the cost of administration and management in the NHS.

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“Patients should not notice any direct difference in health care services as a result of this consultation.”

In Suffolk there are two proposals for the restructuring of PCTs. The first option is to have one PCT for the whole county.

The other is to have one PCT for all of Suffolk, excluding Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and a separate PCT for that area.

The East Anglian Ambulance Trust would be merged with trusts in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex, and the SHA would also merge with trusts in these counties.

A consultation period is now taking place and public meetings are being held across the region. If approved, the new trusts could be up and running by October 2006.

What do you think of the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

There will be further consultation meetings held at:

The Cathedral Rooms, Bury St Edmunds. Thursday February 9 from 2.30pm - 4.30pm.

The Cedars Hotel, Needham Road, Stowmarket. Monday February 20 10am- 12pm.

WEBLINK: www.nscha.nhs.uk

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