In the wake of a renewed drive to expand Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) across the public sector, it has been revealed that earlier projects have been draining cash at the expense of Trust-owned properties.
PFI allows companies to take out private loans to build major projects such as new hospitals, which are then underwritten and repaid by state funds over long periods of time.
Following reports that the mentally ill are being abandoned, Robert Allen interviewed Jim, a worker in the mental health system.
RA: The Healthcare commission are saying that mental health for over 65s virtually does not exist. Are you aware of this concern?
Jim: I used to work in a unit that worked exclusively with people over retirement age with mental health problems. I'm certainly not going to say it was a gold star service but "virtually does not exist" seems a little strong.
Another 1,000 jobs are to be axed in the health service, this time from the relatively new NHS Direct, bringing the total job losses across the sector to 13,000 over the past few months.
Citing a £15m deficit, health bosses intend to shut centres at Doncaster, Scunthorpe, York, Chester, Bolton, Preston, Chorley, Southport, Cambridge, Croydon, Brighton and Kensington over the next 18 months.
GMB, Britain’s general union, attacked plans by the management of the Great Western Hospital in Swindon to axe up to 200 jobs, 99 of which were likely to involve redundancy.
Trade unions at the Great Western Hospital were told today (4 May) that the Trust needed to make £2. 2m in savings per annum as a result of a financial deficit. The Trust is required to achieve a balanced budget this year and faces a potential deficit of £5m.
Richard Griffin summarises some of the effects the NHS funding crisis is having around the country.
John (an alias) works for a primary care trust in the north west of England. His partner is a nurse at a University Hospital NHS trust. John’s trust is about to merge with four other primary care trusts. He has been told that his job is at risk. His wife’s post could be one of the 1,000 jobs that will axed to balance the hospital’s books.
As cuts to the National Health Service deepen, the mentally ill are being left to fend for themselves in what could be a crisis much worse than Margaret Thatcher's botched Care in the Community scheme*.
Reports are rampant that health authorities are making savage cuts to their psychiatric services, while a review of the NHS suggests that psychiatric care has never been more crucial to British society, especially to the over-65s.
Longer waiting lists, delayed treatment, redundancies, staff training slashed, patients discharged from hospital too quickly, public health programmes at risk - the NHS is in crisis.
increasing its budget from £34 billion in 1997 to £92 billion this year the NHS is facing a deficit of around £800 million. How did it go wrong?
Ellen Kemp looks into the sexual abuse scandal involving vulnerable people that didn’t rock the nation.
In July 2005 the Kerr Haslam Inquiry reported its findings to the Minster of Health. Unlike of the Shipman inquiry or the inquiry into the deaths of babies in Bristol, this report has not made the headlines.