13 December 2016
The Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) was released on 7th December and sets out plans for the local health service over the next 5 years. The NHS chiefs behind this have come under increasing media pressure to reveal their plans in more detail and open them up to public consultation. The Northamptonshire Green Party are worried about the effects the plans will have on the lives of county’s patients.
Northamptonshire has an aging population and higher than national average rates of smoking and obesity. The county has been tasked with saving up to £230million pounds over the next 5 years.
The STP has lofty ambitions, and we welcome a “whole person approach” with improved speed of hospital discharge, community based care and improved mental health service access. However, we are concerned that many of the plans actually amount to cutting services.
Plans are to move many specialties such as Dermatology, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal services to a single hospital site, with similar possible plans for up to 7 other specialist services. This may hamper accessibility and have an environmental impact as people are required to travel long distances to access care.
Steve Miller, secretary of the Northamptonshire Green Party said “The health service supports many local jobs, but the STP appears to be hiding job losses by use of management jargon. Does “Joining GP Practices” actually mean “Closing GP Practices”? We are concerned that the move to use more resources from the voluntary sector is actually a move to prop up a service using more free labour?”
Scott Mabbutt, the Health Spokesperson for The Northamptonshire Green Party today calls on the signatories to STP to make clear their plans and initiate a proper 12 week consultation. What services will each site be losing? Will there be job cuts? Have patient advocacy groups had an adequate say in this?
The people of Northamptonshire deserve a first class health service, not a cut price health service and we worry the STP will lead to the latter.
Contacts : Scott Mabbutt firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Miller email@example.com 07598 735524