Hospital Mergers and Leaked Memo Raise Concerns

Hospital Mergers and Leaked Memo Raise ConcernsJust two weeks after the prime minister said there would be no cuts to the National Health Service, public concerns are on the rise about the effects that a number of potential hospital cuts and mergers could have on bed numbers and services in England.

The concerns over bed cuts are reported to have been sparked by a leaked memo from Trust boss Claire Henry. According to the memo, some of England’s biggest hospitals are cutting up to 10% of beds in order to achieve nearly £20billion in savings.

The memo indicated that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is to cut nearly 200 beds and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set to cut 80. As well, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will cut about 10% of their existing beds, for a total of 160 axed beds and £70million in savings.

The rumor that St. George’s Hospital will merge with St. Helier Hospital has also provoked concerns over reduced hospital beds and services. Both hospitals are currently facing a huge budget deficit.

“What I'm concerned about is the potential number of services and beds that could be lost at St Helier as a result of a merger”, said Unison regional office Michael Walker.

“The myth that the NHS is protected from cuts needs to be exposed”, added Christina McAnea, of Unison.