Service reconfiguration

In recent years have seen the development of a twin process of service reorganisation or reconfiguration. One process entails closing big hospital departments such as Accident and Emergency and Maternity Services so that these are concentrated in fewer, larger hospitals; the second involves transferring services from hospitals into community settings. Recent budget pressures have if anything increased the pressure for reconfiguration – despite the fact schemes have often been perceived as service closures or downgrades and attracted fierce opposition.

The financial assumptions underpinning the Government’s plans to close the NHS’s 30-billion-pound funding gap by 2020/21 are unrealistic and are likely to lead to a decline in the quality of and access to healthcare for patients. Subsequently there is a growing risk that that some vital services will collapse.

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