Monday, 25 July 2011

Coalition NHS Policies result in Ward Closures at Sheffield Hospitals


The proposed closure of Ward Q1 “is the thin end of a very large wedge” which will herald more ward closures and service contraction across the city as Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust seek to achieve the £40 million savings needed in 2011/12. So says Andy Freeman, UNISON Regional Organiser.

Consultation about the closure of Ward Q1 at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital ends on Tuesday 26th July and is part of the 1st Phase of the Reconfiguration of Medical Beds across the Trust.

Andy says “The consultation outlines the intention to close 4 wards so this is just the start and the impact on patients, particularly the elderly, will be immediate. The Trust is faced with some very difficult decisions in order to save £40 million this financial year so this proposal is the thin end of a very large wedge.”

Andy went on; “We already know that on top of this there are going to be reconfigurations in Theatres as funding for surgery from Commissioners has been drastically reduced. With regard to planned surgery like hip replacements and hernia operations UNISON representatives in a consultation meeting this year were stunned to hear a senior Trust Executive say “people will need to be in more pain before we can treat them””

This is the impact of the Coalition Government Policies which will “strangle the NHS as we know it” according to Regional Head of Health, Pam Johnson.

Pam says “Government plans for the NHS are directly responsible for these proposals in Sheffield. Quite clearly there is much worse to come, you can’t save these sorts of figures without more service reduction. What, I ask, is the Deputy Prime Minister, doing about this? Mr Clegg, a Sheffield MP, is sitting by while his Government’s policies strangle the NHS as we know it.”

Pam went on “I am pleased that people in Sheffield are waking up to this as UNISON members, in a very short space of time, got hundreds of people to sign a petition against these closures. The impact of ward closures like this are always keenly felt by patients and their families and we are deeply concerned about the impact of these changes will have.”

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