MP's "drastic" NHS cuts warning

Shadow Health Minister and Burnley MP Julie Cooper has warned that there will be drastic cuts to local NHS provision if urgent government funding is not made available to implement NHS England's sweeping Strategic Transformation Plans.
Burnley MP Julie CooperBurnley MP Julie Cooper
Burnley MP Julie Cooper

The STPs, drawn up with the aim of overhauling the NHS to ensure it is fit for the future, have failed to address the key issue of how such huge changes will be funded, according to the Burnley MP.

Mrs Cooper, who also accused the Government and NHS England of creating a “climate of secrecy” around the plans, said: “It seems to me that the plans which have to date been shrouded in secrecy are little more than a glorified wish list.

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“Glossy brochures full of lofty aims and ambitions are fine, but the devil is in the detail; what exactly are the STPs going to change and how will it be funded?

“What will these changes mean for Burnley and why haven’t we been properly consulted about it? I urgently need to see detailed, specific and costed plans to explain exactly what changes to services in our region are planned.

“I will be holding the Government’s feet to the fire to ensure that this happens. There has been no mention of how this massive transformation is to be funded other than through further ‘efficiency savings’ which I fear is Government speak for more cuts. The worry is how savings of £575m. will be achieved in Lancashire.”

The British Medical Association have added their concerns to the debate following their Freedom of Information request discovery that £9.53 billion of capital funding is needed to deliver STPs across the country.

This is on top of revenue savings required which are £26 billion nationally and £575m. in the STP footprint of Lancashire and South Cumbria.