Tories uncover 'secret cuts' to hospital bed days
By Lilian Anekwe
The Conservatives claim to have uncovered ‘secret' evidence of plans to cut thousands of hospital bed days in a bid to make efficiency savings.
Their figures show NHS hospital trusts across the country are planning to cull 1,500 beds by 2015, which the Conservatives say ‘makes a mockery of Gordon Brown's claims to be protecting frontline NHS spending'.
Overall 60% of trusts have projected cuts in bed days. Some of the greatest projected reductions are planned by NHS West Midlands, which plans to cut beds by more than 20% in its Birmingham hospitals, and NHS East of England, which plans a 17% cut at the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘Gordon Brown promised voters that he would protect the NHS and protect frontline services. But these figures reveal that Labour are actually planning secret cuts. They will cut the number of nurses, the number of doctors and the number of hospital beds. It does not get more frontline than that.'
But earlier this month health secretary Andy Burnham hit out at the Mr Lansley's blanket opposition to NHS cuts, saying it was ‘not a responsible or credible position'.Andrew Lansley: Labour are planning secret cuts Andrew Lansley: Labour are planning secret cuts Follow the latest with Pulse's election tracker Follow the latest with Pulse's election tracker