Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Andy Slaughter tackles David Cameron over H&F NHS cuts

Andy Slaughter has just asked Prime Minister David Cameron during a rowdy session of Prime Minister's Questions dominated by the Liam Fox affair about the NHS cuts I reported here, and first reported by the Independent newspaper.

The reality, said Mr Slaughter, was that Imperial Healthcare Trust has to make 5% year on year cuts over a period of the next 5 years - a quarter of its overall budget. How did that square, Mr Slaughter wanted to know, with the Government's pledge not to cut health services?

The Prime Minister was withering in his response, quoting Labour's new Health spokesperson Andy Burnham MP, who had apparently said that it was "irresponsible to increase NHS spending in real terms". Mr Cameron said that he and his Government disagreed, and sat down to rowdy cheers from the Conservative benches.

What this shows is two things - first, you should never expect a politician to answer a question - the cuts here are clearly very real and the prospect of Charing Cross Hospital either being closed altogether or the A&E Department being lost is causing H&F Council to fight against it. Second it demonstrates that this is now set to be an issue that stands to affect all of us and will take centre stage in the debate in months to come.


  1. I've used both Charing Cross and Hammersmith in the last few months, both for relatively serious issues. I came away much more impressed with Hammersmith, and conversely a bit disappointed with Charing Cross. The buildings were older but the quality of staff training and therefore patient care seemed miles ahead. Obviously only one person's experience, so hardly a proper study, but has anyone else had experience of both hospitals?

    How can there be so much difference within one Trust?

  2. Its not possible to compare the two hospitals as they have very different services and do different things. There is no maternity ward in Charing Cross, and there is no tropical disease unit in Hammersmith.