Hands Off Hinchingbrooke have issued a stark warning following the release of the draft Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, in what they describe as a ‘thinly detailed blueprint for cuts which has more holes in it than a “sieve” and it is a disgrace and insult to the people of Cambridgeshire to put forward such an ill-thought-out document’.
The ‘Fit for the Future’ document, which was overseen by NHS Improvement, outlines a 10 point plan to deliver four key priorities for change, however the group believe that the lack of detail is masking savage cuts and downgrading of services in order to make the £250 million savings imposed by central government.
They believe that the lack of transparency and the fact that the STP plans are being forced through at an alarming pace will mean that the cuts programme may be agreed before the public are fully aware of the situation. Although there have been some reassurances offered over Accident and Emergency services, it is not clear whether some may be downgraded or lost altogether.
Campaigners have stated that they will fight tooth and nail against any cuts. Daniel Laycock, Secretary of Hands Off Hinchingbrooke said ‘ This is the latest in a long line of threats to our local hospital and the NHS as a whole. Our local services have been used as a testing ground for NHS privatisation in an experiment that we fought and said would fail. It gives us no pleasure to say that we were right. The release of the STP for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough seems nothing more than a thinly detailed blueprint for cuts which has more holes in it than a “sieve” and it is a disgrace and insult to the people of Cambridgeshire to put forward such an ill-thought-out document’. We fear that this is being rushed through behind closed doors and contains a massive programme of cuts. This is the result of Tory government policy towards the NHS, deliberately starving it of funds in order to break it up and sell it off to the private sector.
Our communities need full Accident & Emergency services. They are already stretched and yet again this week we have the situation where Hinchingbrooke Hospital has pleaded with people not to use A&E unless absolutely necessary. There is a massive financial crisis across the NHS. If our MP Jonathan Djanogly is serious about campaigning for Hinchingbrooke then now is the time for him to join us in appealing to the government to fully fund the NHS and stop their damaging cuts agenda. We will fight tooth and nail against any cuts or closures and continue to campaign for a fully funded, publicly owned and publicly controlled NHS’
For more information on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan or ‘Fit for the Future’ for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.