Health bosses to cut £256million from budget

Hemel Hempstead has a hospital, but no A&E facilities ENGPNL00320131024120921
Hemel Hempstead has a hospital, but no A&E facilities ENGPNL00320131024120921

Health chiefs in West Hertfordshire must cut £256 million from their budget over the next four years, according to a new report.

The study, published jointly by the five health services which cover West Herts, describes the current system as “not sustainable”.

As a result a project titled Your Care, Your Future has been created as they look to radically re-design the area’s healthcare by 2019/20.

A 200-page report published online outlines some of the key issues facing the area between now and 2019/20..

It says: “There will be a 31,800 increase in the west Hertfordshire population over the next five years. This represents a 5.5 per cent increase, compared to 3.6 per cent nationally.

“There will be a 4,800 increase in the over 75-year-olds over the next five years. This represents a 10.4 per cent increase.

“And more people are living with complex health conditions, including an additional 400 people living with dementia over the next five years.”

The Your Care, Your Future project is being jointly run by three NHS Trusts, Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, the East of England Ambulance Service and Herts County Council.

More than half of the savings - £145million - are expected to come from ‘productivity and efficiency gains’.

However there remains a question mark over the outstanding £111million, which is described in the report as ‘a remaining challenge’.

Health bosses stress that the current project is still at an interim change, and no proposals have so far been made to change any services.

The latest report also describes other issues with local NHS services.

West Herts has recruitment issues with roles such as GPs, nurses, social workers and radiographers.

And the high proportion of GPs aged 55-plus means that 16 new GPs will be needed every year for the next five years.

A public consultation event is being held next week to discuss the current project with anyone interested in finding out more.

The event take place on Wednesday (July 8) at Hemel’s South Hill Centre in Cemetery Hill, from 1-3.30pm.

To register or for more information please contact info@yourcareyourfuture.org.uk or call 0207 025 7596.

Dr Nicolas Small, chairman of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are looking forward to listening to the views of local residents, patients, GPs and stakeholders at our conversation workshop at the South Hill Centre next week.

“The workshop is one of a series of meetings being held in Dacorum and this workshop is a further opportunity to discuss emerging key themes.

“Without change we will face a significant funding challenge as the use of health and care services increases. People are living longer and the needs of patients are changing. Meanwhile, diseases related to lifestyle are increasing, such as obesity and conditions caused by alcohol consumption. As well as changing how services are delivered, we also need to improve how we prevent ill health and support people to be more independent in looking after their own condition.”

She added: “We look forward to discussing these important issues with communities and stakeholders to develop plans that best meet the changing needs of local residents.

“For more information on next week’s workshop please e-mail info@yourcareyourfuture.org.uk or visit www.yourcareyourfuture.org.uk for more information on the case for change.”

What do you think of the need to save £256million from local health spending, and what do you think should be cut?

Email thegazette@jpress.co.uk