Decision day looming for raft of proposed NHS health cuts in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 07:03 10 October 2017

Decisions will be made about a raft of proposed health cuts in Hertfordshire at a meeting on Thursday. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Decisions will be made about a raft of proposed health cuts in Hertfordshire at a meeting on Thursday. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

AndreyPopov

Decisions will be made about a raft of proposed health cuts in Hertfordshire, including axing NHS-funded IVF and forcing smokers and obese patients to make bigger health improvements before surgery, at a meeting on Thursday.

Dr Hari Pathmanathan, chairman of the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Dr Hari Pathmanathan, chairman of the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The proposed cuts have been triggered by a funding crisis which is expected to see the health and care funding gap for Hertfordshire and west Essex reach £550 million by 2021 if nothing is done.

The East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for planning and paying for NHS services in our area, together with NHS Herts Valleys CCG, launched a 10-week public consultation in July asking people to give their views.

Proposals include tightening up existing rules so people who smoke or are obese must make bigger improvements to their health before non-urgent surgery – unless a longer wait for surgery would be harmful.

NHS-funded IVF and specialist fertility services would either stop or be reduced, and NHS funding for female sterilisation procedures would stop.

Limitations would apply to the prescription of medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments.

The prescribing of gluten-free foods and the routine prescription of food supplements would also be restricted.

Responses to the consultation are now being annalysed ahead of Thursday’s meeting, which will see the East and North Herts CCG’s governing body and Herts Valleys CCG’s board discuss the feedback and make decisions on the proposals.

Dr Hari Pathmanathan, GP and chairman of the East and North Herts CCG, said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete a questionnaire, come along to one of our consultation events or write us a letter about the proposals.

“Since the consultation ended, an independent organisation has been collating and analysing all your feedback and their report will help us to make our decisions.”

The meeting will be held at 2pm on Thursday at the Focolare Centre for Unity in Welwyn Garden City. To attend as an observer, register your interest at http://herts-ccgs-joint-committee.eventbrite.co.uk.

To make a statement at the meeting, lasting no longer than three minutes, email governingbody@enhertsccg.nhs.uk to request a place on the agenda.

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