North Norfolk is facing substantial cuts in local healthcare in the coming year, reportedly amounting to £83 for every resident or £15 million in total. These cuts will particularly hit the growing number of frail older people who rely on local health services, warns North Norfolk Labour Party.
Cuts proposed by the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) include:
– reductions in drugs and prescribing by GPs
– cuts in community equipment and support for people who have fallen
– reductions in referrals to hospitals as well as cuts in funding for local hospitals and mental health services
– supporting more older people at home rather than hospital will be hit by cuts to community services and the Better Care Fund
The CCG itself warns in its budget report for 2015-16 that there is no room for slippage, none of its main contracts have been settled and there are big risks that the £15 million cuts won’t be delivered – thereby threatening further cuts later this year.
Denise Burke, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, said: “The £15m cuts show how much pressure our health service is under in North Norfolk. We already have poor ambulance response times, long waits at A&E, failing mental health services and poor access to GPs. Now the Clinical Commissioning Group has to make more cuts while dealing with an ageing population. Older people and their families will bear the brunt of these cuts. And there are huge risks that the CCG will be unable to make the cuts required by government, meaning more cuts in North Norfolk will be needed. The CCG should listen to the public and tell government ministers, particularly care minister, Norman Lamb to live up to their promises not to cut the NHS.”