PRESS RELEASE. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. 10.09.2021
Save Our NHS Leicestershire supporters will be demonstrating outside Leicester City Hall on Charles Street with banners and placards from 4:45 to 5.30pm on Monday September 13th.
They say they are demonstrating because of the Treasury threat not to fund fully the £450m hospital reorganisation scheme and because the new Integrated Care System may involve private companies on boards and committees in the NHS.
Tom Barker, a spokesperson for the group, said:
“Our demonstration is ahead of the Joint Health scrutiny meeting where both possible cuts to the hospital investment scheme and the new integrated care systems (ICS) are being discussed.
“We want to see the new hospital scheme as agreed by the local NHS in June fully funded and not cut back. We also want to ensure there are not private companies sitting on the boards and committees of the new integrated care system. We have tabled several questions on both of these issues which will be answered at the meeting.”
The consultation over the £450million plan to reorganise hospital services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland was carried out late in 2020. However, this plan, updated in June 2021, is now under threat because of new government policies to reduce capital spending in new hospitals.[i]
“There is now the possibility that some of this funding could be cut – meaning an already inadequate plan could become even worse!
“As campaigners and NHS users, we think we need more investment to ensure the plans are fit for purpose – the scheme has already been pared back, and there is nothing that can be cut without creating significant problems.
“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that we cannot afford to underinvest in our NHS.”
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[i] Sources: Health Service Journal: https://www.hsj.co.uk/finance-and-efficiency/exclusive-government-tells-hospitals-to-submit-cheaper-rebuild-plans/7030601.article; The Lowdown: https://lowdownnhs.info/comment/propaganda-stepped-up-as-new-hospital-schemes-are-stalled/; Leicester City Health Overview Scrutiny Committee meeting, Wednesday September 1: https://leicester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/594495; Inside Croydon: https://insidecroydon.com/2021/09/02/government-cuts-100m-from-budget-for-new-sutton-hospital/ )