Health axe plan: lives at RISK’

PUBLISHED: 18:29 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 25 August 2010

HOSPITAL staff have warned that proposed service cuts could put lives in danger.

HOSPITAL staff have warned that proposed service cuts could put lives in danger.

Nine unions at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, submitted a scathing response to proposals to axe their Accident and Emergency and maternity units.

They claim the proposals by committee A Picture of Health (APOH) could put many lives at risk, especially the elderly, pregnant women, children and those in need of emergency care.

A joint statement read: "As a collective voice we state that the options outlined in this consultation are unacceptable and we believe totally flawed.

"We believe that many lives could be put at risk.

"There is no evidence of a clear resourced plan to protect, or to keep patients safe or have improved services.

"There is no evidence in the consultation document of a costing analysis of community care if these services are switched.

"There has been no reference to the cost involved in facilitating change. We note that there has been no identified funding or from where this funding would actually be released.

"Reconfiguration of health services are unpopular, being perceived as reducing rather than enhancing, access to services."

The unions went on to slam APOH's proposal to promote 'care closer to home' claiming that GPs are encouraged to join larger practices further away from patients' homes.

They added that transport providers had not been involved in the consultation.

It continued: "There is insufficient detail in any of the documents that have been produced by the Picture of Health team to support any clinical benefits that will be financially viable."

The unions added that they believe the project is 'financially driven' while the claim has 'always been refuted by APOH'.

A spokesperson for A Picture of Health said that as a response to the consultation, their views will be taken into account and included in the consultation report which is due to be published next month.

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