Lib Dem alarm over health cuts

Liberal Democrats are dismayed at the news that Haringey is facing further cuts in health spending. The Primary Care Trust (PCT) budget issued at the latest Haringey Council Scrutiny Committee meeting showed another 3.6% of funding will be ‘top-sliced’ by the London Strategic Health Authority (SHA) this year – equivalent to £12.5 million.

The Lib Dems believe that Haringey Primary Care Trust (PCT) is determined to avert the financial crisis by using “demand management” to limit bills that they receive from the Acute Trusts – resulting in less people being referred to hospital for treatment and those that are referred being discharged earlier. The PCT will also look towards the private sector to fill gaps in the budget.

Cllr David Winskill (Crouch End) comments:

“We are on the verge of a financial spiral. The London SHA takes cash from the PCTs to bale out the acute sector; PCTs respond by cutting expenditure on acute services and diverting other cash to the private sector. All this adds more pressure on the acute providers – the bits they were trying to save in the first place.”

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman Cllr Richard Wilson adds:

“This is the second year our local health service has had its budget raided.Over £20m has now been diverted away from frontline health services in our borough to bail out cash strapped hospitals in other parts of London.We have already lost a hospital ward for the elderly and several sexual health clinics as a result.More services now face being squeezed as a result of the continuing financial crisis in the NHS.”