Time is running out to have your say on proposed health cuts in Hertfordshire
- Credit: Archant
This is your last chance to have your say about a raft of proposed health cuts in Hertfordshire, which include axing NHS-funded IVF and forcing smokers and obese patients to make bigger health improvements before surgery.
A public consultation by the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for planning and paying for NHS services in our region, together with Herts Valleys CCG, closes at the end of this Thursday.
The plan is to tighten 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.
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The prescribing of gluten-free foods and the routine prescription of food supplements would also be restricted.
Without action, the health and care funding gap for Hertfordshire and west Essex is forecast to reach £550 million by 2021.
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The CCGs say the proposals are designed to make best use of the money available.
Dr Hari Pathmanathan, GP and clinical chair of the East and North Hertfordshire CCG, said: “We’ve been talking to local people about these proposals and hearing lots of different ideas about how the NHS should use its limited funds.
“We are very keen to hear from all sections of the community, as these proposals will affect most of us in some way, either directly, or through our families and friends.
“Please take a few minutes to complete our online questionnaire before the consultation closes. Paper copies of the survey are also still available to complete at our Welwyn Garden City offices – call 01707 685397 for more information about this. Please tell us what you think of our proposals and make sure you don’t miss your chance to have your views heard.”
The proposals are explained in full at www.healthierfuture.org.uk/NHSLetsTalk, where you can also lodge your views.