Nearly two MILLION sign petition against pharmacy cuts – the NHS this week


By Richard Grimes


Pathology services at Princess Royal University Hospital will be moved to Kings College Hospital and run by Viapath, a company jointly owned by Serco and Kings College NHS Trust, effectively part-privatising the service.

Two Reading GP practices have been taken over by OneMedicalGroup.


The Kentmere Unit, a mental health ward at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, will shut next month. The trust says that the closure is “temporary” while they consider “alternative options”.

A GP practice in Melton Mowbray has had to stop some community-based services for the elderly due to CCG funding cuts. Patients will now have to travel to Leicester, Loughborough or Oakham to receive the services.


A petition signed by 1.8 million people has been delivered to Downing Street in protest at plans by the government to cut the community pharmacy budget by £170m which could potentially close 3,000 pharmacies across the country.

A public meeting is to be held in March, Cambridgeshire, to discuss concerns about threats to services in the area and “the creeping privatisation” of the NHS.

Staff shortages

  • Children are having to wait for up to a year for dental treatment in hospitals in North Manchester because of a severe nursing shortage.
  • Over a four month period the x-ray clinic at Canvey NHS Outpatients Centre was closed 15 times so that staff could be sent to Southend Hospital to help relieve patient pressures there. Patients in Canvey fear that the x-ray clinic could shut completely because of the staffing problems.
  • The opening hours of minor injury units in Gloucestershire could change as the NHS faces difficulties in keeping them fully staffed. Shortage of staff has led to closures on 121 separate occasions between November 2015 and March this year, 67 times at the Minor Injury Unit at Stroud General Hospital and 46 times at the unit at Cirencester.
  • Two paramedics from a private company have been hired by Colchester General Hospital because of capacity issues in the hospital’s A&E. The private paramedics treat patients while they are on trolleys.
  • A Bolton GP practice is to close after 30 years because of a “national crisis” in recruiting GPs. The surgery has lost six GPs in the last two years and said it was “extremely difficult” to recruit graduates.
  • The North East and Cumbria Regional Local Medical Committee recently undertook a survey which revealed that many GP practices believe their service is only viable for a maximum of three years without significant investment.
  • Lincolnshire Local Medical Committee says there are 340 GPs in the county, representing a shortfall of 75 GPs compared to the 415 needed for the GP-to-patient ratio to be the same as the rest of England.
  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust says it has just over 30 full-time equivalent registered nurse vacancies and around 12 registered midwife positions to fill. Nurses from the Philippines and Romania have recently started working there, and a further 14 Filipino nurses are due to join the trust next month.


  • Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs Hereford Hospital, reports a £31.5m deficit. The Trust, which is already in “special measures”, admits that the deficit could have a potential impact upon quality and safety of patient care.
  • The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust reports a deficit of £39.9m, 14 percent of its turnover. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust reports a deficit of £62.3m, or 24 percent of turnover.
  • Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is facing a deficit of £5m. Derriford Hospital in Plymouth had a £36m deficit last year and expects a deficit of £33m this financial year. Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has reported a deficit of £20m. The Royal Cornwall Hospital has reported a £6.9m deficit last year and is forecasting a £17.9m deficit for this financial year.
  • East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has reported a £48m deficit and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals has a deficit of £45m.
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital FT is set to “run out of cash by November”. The Trust’s deficit last year was £21m and this year it is projected to rise to £32m. In response the Trust has appealed to the government for a £25m “bailout”. During the last financial year 1,361 operations were cancelled at the hospital.
  • The five CCGs in Norfolk have decided not to make their “discretionary payments” to the Better Care Fund (£7m out of the fund’s £50m), putting at risk some social care services in the county.

2 thoughts on “Nearly two MILLION sign petition against pharmacy cuts – the NHS this week

  1. *sighing heavily* And this sort of trouble is why I can’t have the one kind of therapy that actively improves the deterioration of my severe Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – hydrotherapy – because there simply isn’t enough funding in my regional hospital trust for the one local hospital that still has a proper hydrotherapy pool fit for wheelchair users to allow any individual to have more than six weeks of sessions; i.e., acute treatment.

    My condition is chronic and lifelong, and despite the fact that the improvement in my quality of life that hydrotherapy delivered over six weekly sessions during my first course of it was very much palpable, the trust can’t afford to let me have more than six sessions a year, if that. I can’t use the local swimming pool, unfortunately, not even the kiddie pool, because it’s a lot colder (hydrotherapy pools are generally blood temperature or very nearly), and the cold fries my nerves. It was suggested I buy a wetsuit to try it… but I haven’t been able to afford to get one or to hire a carer to come with me to help me in and out of one to allow me to swim, since my continued deterioration means I need that help.

    Figures, doesn’t it? The one thing that might give me some of my life back, but I can’t have it because the trust can’t afford it and I am not sufficiently well-off to be able to pay for it privately – which I might be, if I could have the therapy. It’s a catch 22… *sighs again*


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