Sunday, November 12, 2006

 East Anglian Daily Times

Tory leader visits region's hospitals.
Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday laid the blame for the financial crisis facing hospital and NHS trusts in East Anglia firmly at the door of the Government. He said clinicians and managers were doing their best to get trusts out of deficit, but were being hit by constant ministerial meddling in the way the health service was organised. Mr Cameron began a two day tour of England's hospitals at Ipswich, which is axing 350 posts and reorganising services in a bid to wipe out a £24m deficit. "This hospital is having to make substantial cuts and there are real worries about the effect they will have," said Mr Cameron. "I have been to the medical assessment unit where, because the GP out-of-hours service is not functioning in the way it used to and because community hospitals are closing, there are 20% more patients being seen. The hospital is facing cuts at a time when it is having to do more work. Ipswich Hospital is working hard to reduce its deficit. The staff want to do the job they are employed to do - to treat patients. But all the changes introduced by the Government, the cuts that are being made, and the financial pressures, are getting in the way. Let's stop all the reorganisations. There have been nine in the past nine years. There must be less political interference and more trust in our health professionals. We must stop the top-down targets which are being imposed on the NHS by the Government."

http:/ /