|MP calls for reversal of funding cuts at All Hallows
Richard Bacon MP has called for a
reversal of the funding cuts
at All Hallows Hospital, Ditchingham
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has written to the Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust and the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority calling for a reversal of the funding cuts at All Hallows Hospital, Ditchingham.
In March this year, All Hallows secured a 12 bed contract with Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust.
At the end of June the hospital was told that funding for two of the 12 beds would be axed from 1 July with a reduction to seven beds in October.
Southern Norfolk PCT is looking to make £500,000 savings and the cuts at All Hallows would save £174,000.
However, the cuts mean that patients would either have to continue to take up an expensive acute hospital bed or be transferred to another NHS facility offering similar care to All Hallows but at more than twice the daily cost of All Hallows.
The cuts could also alter the way the hospital works in the short term and lead to the loss of services and jobs in the long term. It could even threaten the viability of the hospital to serve the local area.
An emergency meeting between the Southern Norfolk PCT and All Hallows did come up with a plan that found a way forward. Three beds would be allocated to All Hallows from October 2006 for patients not requiring acute admission and also for patients needing respite care who could be transferred from more expensive hospitals.
However, the hospital then received an e-mail the following day saying this plan was not an option as Southern Norfolk PCT ‘needed to be seen to withdraw funding’.
Mr Bacon said: “This is utter nonsense. One day health secretary Patricia Hewitt announces £750 million over five years to develop a new generation of community hospitals. Then at the same time, a highly respected and well- equipped cottage hospital such as All Hallows – much of it financed by the generosity of local people – comes under threat of possible closure because the PCT needs to be seen to be making cuts”.
“I have written to the Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust and to the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority asking them to reconsider the funding cuts”.
31 July 2006
|© Richard Bacon 2010|