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Let’s ditch the myth we can cut funding without harming patient care

Editor’s blog

jaimie kaffash 2 duo 3x2

jaimie kaffash 2 duo 3x2

There is one take home message from our investigation into public health cuts, which revealed the extent of services being cut across England: the idea that we can absorb cuts through efficiency without affecting patient care is a myth that should never be uttered again.

This is a favourite government line, but the truth is there is not enough slack in the healthcare system to cut budgets by 10% and retain the same level of patient care.

GPs are the ones having to say: ’sorry, these services no longer exist’

Within public health, we can see this from the removal of an award-winning weight management service in Rotherham, the removal of a falls preventions service in Essex, and the decimation of smoking cessation services across England.

GPs are the ones having to ‘provide a diet sheet printed off Google’, or tell patients they can only have bariatric surgery if they undergo 12 months of a weight management programme – but sorry, these services no longer exist.

They are also the ones having to take on the extra workload. Yet this myth has left them with no remaining capacity, with years of cuts in real-terms funding having led to longer waiting times and a dwindling workforce.

It’s beyond naïve to believe the Government will ditch its addiction to cutting health spending. But next time they do slash the budget, they could at least do us the honour of admitting that yes, patient care will be affected.

Readers' comments (3)

  • When a patient ask to be referred to a service that no longer exists, refer them to the local GP so they can provide the service or an answer to why the service is no longer there.They have surgeries dont they?

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  • 'It’s beyond naïve to believe the Government will ditch its addiction to cutting health spending'

    Yes ,true,obviously,no argument!

    Yet this is the entire basis of BMA policy,it is the entirety of their hopes dreams and aspirations,their primary indeed sole thought.They consider absolutely nothing else.In additon they ceaselessly publish calls along the lines of this fantasy.

    Pulse itself employs columnists to publish blogs advocating this,people who do not recognise other possibilities.

    The government dictates that only the BMA can represent GP's thus ensuring the opposition is permenantly "beyond naive"

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    The whole 'QUIP' agenda is cut money, flog dying horse until dead, and call it quality improvement while they cut the funding from under your feet, then get annoyed service delivery is not improved and patients complaining, and spend money to allow patients complaints to be better heard and flog GPs with rising complaints.

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