NHS news

MC NxtGen’s Andrew Lansley rap. Certainly heartfelt with ageist insults.

NHS news is dominated by a forecast reduction in real-term’s financing of the NHS. It is expected that coalition imposed cuts generally will start to be experienced soon with the start of the new financial year. It is unlikely that the rich will be affected. We are most definitely not all in this together as – heir to the Osborne baronetcy – Chancellor Osborne claimed yesterday while presenting his budget. He’s taking the piss.

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Public sector cuts – the truth | Society | The Guardian

A week today the cuts will start to bite. As the financial year ends, grants will run out, contracts will wind up, and charities and services will begin to shut their doors. After months of anxiety about the impact of the cuts, the consequences of the government’s rapid deficit reduction programme will begin to be real.

The Guardian gives a slice of what this will mean across the country, highlighting a cross-section of 50 services that will shrink or cease to exist from the end of this month. Most are unglamorous, obscure, unfeted projects, staffed by employees who are not very well paid, but hugely committed to what they do. All of these losses come as a result of the government’s decision to cut spending by £95bn over five years.

Their disappearance may not be noticed by anyone with a good income, in secure employment, in sound health, without caring responsibilities – anyone who does not look to the state for support with life’s problems. For the more vulnerable, the decision to close these bodies and cut these jobs will be sharply felt. They will be more acutely obvious beyond the south-east, in areas that are more dependent on government grants. Women, parents, carers, disabled people, teenagers and elderly people are likely to be the most affected.

Wiltshire NHS is forced to cut £34m (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)

Despite an increase in funding NHS Wiltshire has to make savings of £34.6m.

Its allocation of funding from the Government for 2011/12 is 2.2 per cent above the previous year but NHS Wiltshire is still paying off debt run up by its predecessor primary care trusts.

The PCT’s budget for 2011/12 is £656.2m. Inflation costs will amount to £17.2m.

New Statesman – Osborne set to break pledge to protect NHS spending

The oracle has spoken. The key finding from the IFS’s traditional lunchtime briefing on the Budget is that the coalition is at risk of breaking its pledge to protect real-terms spending on the NHS. At the Spending Review, George Osborne announced that health spending would rise by 0.1 per cent a year, or 0.4 per cent across the economic period. But as the IFS slide below shows, higher inflation means that real-terms spending will now fall by 0.1 per cent over the next four years.

Based on current trends, spending will be frozen in 2011-12 and will fall by 0.1 per cent in 2012-13. Had it not been for lower-than-expected spending in 2010-11, the IFS points out, there would have actually been a small real-terms cut in 2011-12.

The coalition’s pledge to ring-fence the £99.5bn health budget had everything to do with politics and nothing to do with economics. During the Labour leadership election, Andy Burnham, then shadow health secretary, persuasively argued that it was wrong to spare the NHS from cuts. He pointed out: “The effect is that he [George Osborne] is damaging, in a serious way, the ability of other public services to cope: he will visit real damage on other services that are intimately linked to the NHS.” But Cameron refused to abandon what was a prime piece of detoxification.

Budget 2011: coalition criticised as NHS spending power cut by £1bn | UK news | The Guardian

The coalition is embroiled in a row over its health pledges after it emerged that the budget contained a cut in the NHS’s spending power of almost £1bn.

Labour accused ministers of reneging on their repeated promise to increase the NHS’s budget in real terms every year throughout this parliament.

Revised upward predictions of inflation in the budget by the Office for Budget Responsibility show that the NHS in England will undergo a cut of £1bn in its spending power by 2015. It also reveals that its budget will be cut in each of the next two financial years, alleged shadow health secretary John Healey.

BBC News – Downing Street rejects £1bn NHS Budget cut claim

The NHS budget in England could be topped up to prevent a real terms cut in health spending, government sources have indicated.

Labour claim Wednesday’s Budget contained a £1bn cut in NHS funding – breaking a key coalition pledge.

But government sources told BBC News the Budget figures were “just an estimate”.

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