HEALTH chiefs will be cutting £276 million from the NHS budget in Herts over the next four years.
The figure – which amounts to around 17 per cent of the overall budget – will be met through a combination of measures including reducing hospital admissions and encouraging patients to ‘manage their own care’.
Herts Primary Care Trust says the cuts are necessary because increased government funding has been outstripped by health system inflation.
The trust says in a new leaflet: “We are going to make changes to focus resources where they can most make a difference.”
Since April the obese and smokers risk having non-urgent operations refused if they fail to change their lifestyle.
Now the trust says there will be new ‘care pathways’ that mean people may be cared for ‘in a different way than what they are used to’.
Councillor Nick Hollinghurst, a member of Herts County Council’s health scrutiny committee, says he will be raising the cuts at a meeting due to take place today. “I shall be looking very carefully at the impact of that,” he said.
Meanwhile, proposals to rebuild or revamp the Hemel Hempstead Hospital site have been put back until at least November to allow more talks to take place.