PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts

It has emerged today that Primary Care Trusts have been using ‘back door’ methods to help fund NHS hospitals that have been left in the cold by government spending cuts.

It has emerged today that Primary Care Trusts have been using ‘back door’ methods to help fund NHS hospitals that have been left in the cold by government spending cuts. A BBC report shows that local PCTs have been using tactics designed at channelling patients away from private health providers in a bid to protect public hospitals.

As a result nearly half of local NHS mangers are now being subjected to a government enquiry with one source claiming:

“Trusts seemed to be motivated by a desire to protect their local hospitals in the tight financial situation.”

Following a complaint from Circle, a leading private healthcare provider, the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CPP) are investigating whether PCTs are acting in a way which contravenes competition rules which are applied to non-emergency treatments.

The benefit to local NHS hospitals of deploying these tactics appears to be a financial one. An interim report of the CPP shows:

“Providers that are successful in attracting patients will be able to earn revenues that, in the case of NHS Foundation Trusts for example, can be reinvested in other services. Providers that do not attract sufficient patients face the prospect of being unable to meet their financial obligations.”

As recently as December the prime minister restated his commitment to NHS funding at Prime Minister’s Questions when he said:

“We want to see NHS spending increase by more than inflation every year.”

Following the chancellor’s budget it was revealed that NHS funding would actually decrease in real terms by 0.9%. The news that NHS management is having to take innovative action to protect the financial sustainability of public hospitals will deliver another hammer blow to the Tories’ NHS credentials.

The NHS played a vital role in the ‘detoxification’ of the Conservative brand and was a key part of David Cameron’s election strategy. The Tories now find themselves in a position where they are being seen as privatising the NHS whilst at the same time cutting its budgets.

It was not too long ago that David Cameron was heaping praise on Alan Milburn; however, his comments today sum up the government’s problems in one sentence:

“The coalition’s reforms have conflated the four words it was trying to avoid – cuts, privatisation, health and Tory.”

It appears that Mr Cameron will be having another week of NHS headaches.

17 Responses to “PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts”

  1. 0iD

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  2. neilrfoster

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  3. John Edginton

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  4. Watching You

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  5. Sam Jole

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  6. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts http://bit.ly/eWDLYp – what else would they do? No to privatisation!!!

  7. Molly

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  8. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  9. Mr. Sensible

    The government’s NHS reform program learches from 1 crisis to another…

  10. Richard Blogger

    The BBC article is a puff piece for private hospitals, it is written as if it is a bad thing that there is a bias against private providers.

    Anyway, the most concerning thing is that the CCP report, upon which it is based, was released a month ago. So it is not even news. Pah! I blogged about this when it came out, the BBC is a month behind me.

    Or is there something else going on here? Perhaps the BBC are releasing articles to another agenda? There has been a stream of very tenuous anti-NHS articles from the BBC since the election. In fact, it seems to me that BBC health reporting has either been very poor quality (they seem to miss the good news reports about the NHS), or very biassed against the NHS.

  11. Staffordshire UNISON

    RT @MsWigsy: RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts http://bit.ly/eWDLYp – what else would they do? No to p …

  12. 13eastie

    It explodes the myth that the unions are acting in the interests of public service users, doesn’t it, when their representatives misappropriate public funds to degrade the treatment of tax-paying NHS patients in service of their own vested interests?

  13. Jonathan Taylor

    Mmmm…RT @leftfootfwd: PCTs help struggling hospitals fight Tory NHS cuts: http://bit.ly/h0ZCew #SaveOurNHS

  14. JoshC

    Acting against the interests of public services users by keeping their local hospital open?

  15. Andrew Georgiou

    Mr. Sensible: We’ll have to see how many crises they can deal with.
    Richard Blogger: They often question ministers on issues surrounding GP commissioning rather the more contentious issues regarding competition. This draws attention away from the main issue which is competition.

    13eastie: It is in the public interest to protect local hospitals. In fact the Department of Health guidelines ‘Principles and Rules for Co-operation and Competition’ says commissioners must have “regard to their [populations] overall present and future needs and the sustainability of services.”

  16. Andrew Georgiou

    The private firm taking over NHS hospital have been taking legal action which denies hospitals funding: http://t.co/zclE0rNs #SaveOurNHS

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