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NHS reforms must not be an excuse for service cuts - Farron

August 26, 2016 3:19 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has insisted that the government's plans for NHS reform must not simply end up as an excuse for cuts to services. A report released today suggests that NHS services in South Cumbria could face a deficit of over £800 million within five years.

A report by campaign group 38 degrees into draft NHS Sustainability and Transformation plans has suggested that by 2020 health services in Lancashire and South Cumbria will be £805m short.

The report says there are plans to "reconfigure" frontline NHS services in the area, without any details given. However, in other parts of the country suggestions include closures to hospitals and A&E services. The campaign group points out that "historically in the NHS, reconfiguration has meant cuts."

Tim said: "Attempts to make NHS services more efficient, with a focus on prevention, early intervention and community care, make sense. However, these plans cannot simply be cover for the government to slash frontline NHS services and starve the NHS of funds it desperately needs.

"The bottom line is that the NHS needs to be properly funded, and the Conservatives are simply not prepared to give it the cash it needs. Services in rural areas like ours are under particular pressure, and the government needs to commit to providing the resources that are needed."