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Health chiefs look for cuts alternatives
HEALTH chiefs say they are still committed to saving £10 million, but may look at alternative ways of hitting their target.
Alan Wittrick, director of finance at NHS North Yorkshire and York primary care trust, was speaking after the Jorvik Medical Practice, one of the largest in the city, told patients in a newsletter that various cost-saving measures due to be brought in by the trust had been put on hold following concerns from GPs.
Last month, the PCT announced it faced a financial deficit of £19million and came up with a number of cuts to services.
In April, the PCT will hand over its spending powers to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), made up of local GPs, who will have responsibility for the billion pounds of NHS cash spent in the region each year. Mr Wittrick said: “We are still very much committed to saving £10million within this financial year.
“We’ve been in discussions with our emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups and they have suggested a number of alternative ways in which we could make these savings.
“These alternative proposals will be discussed at our next board meeting on 23 October.”
The latest edition of Jorvik’s newsletter told patients: “We are very worried that these significant and unfair PCT cutbacks to GP services across North Yorkshire and York, in order for the PCT to limit its debts by next April, will have a serious impact on patient care.
“Due to GP pressure, these cuts are suspended for now and are being discussed further, this time with GP leaders – but is this just a stay of execution?”
According to Jorvik, the health trust was looking to slash spending on GP funding for services including blood-taking services, minor surgery, health checks and neo-natal checks.
The next public board meeting of NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT takes place at 10am on Tuesday in St Michael’s Hospice, Hornbeam Park Avenue, Harrogate.