Devon County Council calls for pause in hospital cuts

Posted on: 9 December 2016

Devon County Council is calling for a pause in planned cuts to hospital services across the county.

There has been widespread public opposition to the cuts to acute and hospital beds proposed to head off a multi-million deficit in health services.

Now Devon County Council is calling on the Government and NHS England to provide fair funding for health services in Devon.

Councillors have unanimously agreed that until health services in Devon are properly funded it is not possible to judge what the deficit was and if any action was needed to balance the books.

They were invited to support the move, which had been suggested by the Council’s all-party health scrutiny committee.

The Council’s Leader, Cllr John Hart said: “We all recognise the intense financial pressure that all public services are under.

“Devon County Council has had to make incredibly difficult decisions about services over the past seven years and we sympathise with health managers and want to work closely with them.

“But health and social care are so vital in Devon where we have a significantly higher proportion of older people who need our help and support.

“That’s why we are proposing to increase our adult social care budget by 9.5 per cent or £18.8 million next year despite the continuing cuts that the Government is imposing on us.

“Only last month the respected health charity, The King’s Fund, published a detailed report on the implementation of the NHS’s transformation plans across the country.

“It found that key elements of the process have been ‘top-down’ and tight deadlines had made it difficult to secure meaningful involvement in the plans from key stakeholders, including patients and the public, local authorities, clinicians and other frontline staff.

“It argued the plans offered the best hope to improve health and care services, despite having been beset by problems so far, and called for a need to secure the meaningful involvement of patients and the public in the plans, alongside clinicians, other frontline staff and local authorities.

“In light of these conclusions and the very strong feelings in communities across Devon about the local proposals we think there needs to be a pause in these plans to allow health managers to review their budgets and for our MPs to fight for adequate funding for health and social care for our residents.”

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Posted in: DCC Homepage | Health and Wellbeing | Politics