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Whitehall asked to plug NHS funding shortfall
5:30pm Friday 21st September 2012 in Local
CALLS are being made for council chiefs to press the Government into “plugging the shortfall” of up to £200 million in Worcestershire’s health service.
County councillors say threats to shut the A&E department at the Alexandra Hospital would pile too much pressure on Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Councillors also said the rest of the cuts to the county’s NHS would decimate morale.
And now they’ve asked bosses to write to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and all Worcestershire’s MPs asking for a better funding deal.
Councillor Peter McDonald, leader of the county’s Labour group, said: “The Government said it would cut the national debt, not the NHS, but these cuts do just that.
“Patient care needs to be protected, not fragmented. All councillors know money and quality of care is linked.”
Councillor Richard Udall said: “The A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital was built for a city, not a county. Adding a whole new level of demand by closing the A&E at Redditch would leave it struggling to cope.”
The motion says the council backs the campaign to keep A&E and maternity services at the Alex Hospital open.
It also says Worcestershire’s NHS funding shortfall works out at “approximately £1 million a week”, at £200 million over the next four years, and calls upon the Government to plug the gap.
NHS chiefs in the county are struggling to cope with ever-increasing demands on services from a population which is growing older.
The cost of drugs are also rising and the budget is not increasing in line with inflation.