London’s King’s College Hospital (KCH) is one of the best-known hospitals in this country. On Saturday night, as in March after the Westminster attacks, it was one of the main centres to which those injured in the horrific attacks on London Bridge and at Borough Market were rushed for treatment.
Theresa May praised the efforts of emergency services and hospitals in their battle to save lives – but she did not, unsurprisingly, mention a shocking truth: KCH, a world-famous NHS hospital, is in such financial straits that it had to apply for an emergency loan – and is bringing private patients from the Middle East to its hospital – to try to plug the gap, as a UAE newspaper reported just over a week ago:
KCH’s annual report – and the above-linked article – reveal a stark picture of the impact of the Tories supposed ‘investment’ in our NHS. The Trust:
- had a deficit of £65m in 2015/16
- fell almost £30m short of its savings target of £86m for the year
- even to achieve these figures, had to use cash reserves and borrow just under £99m from the Department of Health
- Had to arrange ‘overdraft’ (working capital arrangements) of similar scale for the 16/17 year
- had to apply for one-off ‘STP’ (cost-cutting transition) funding of £30m
- had to send surgeons and other medical professionals overseas for paid work and sell NHS beds to overseas private patients to plug some of its funding gap
- in just eight years received more than 100,000 visits from almost 180 countries – and performed more than 9,000 surgical procedures – which means beds and operating facilities unavailable for NHS patients
Even more shockingly, the hospital’s report warns that – in spite of the above gap-filling measures – the hospital’s financial situation is so bad that it might not be able to continue as a viable ‘going concern’. Under a heading of ‘Risk’, the report warns that:
Given the uncertainties in respect of the Group’s funding and reliance of external funding, which are explained above in the Emphasis of matter – Going concern section, we considered going concern to be a significant risk. The Group is forecasting a deficit of £7.8m before impairments and revaluations for 2016/17 and discussions with management have highlighted the requirement to obtain further funding before the end of 2016/17 to support the Group.
KCH were asked for comment last week but has so far failed to respond, except for the rather worried-sounding query about where the SKWAWKBOX found its information.
This world-famous hospital was vital last weekend in saving the lives of victims of the terrorist attack – and under the Tory NHS funding regime, it is struggling to survive – and is selling its services and beds to private patients from other countries to try to keep going.
But there is worse news, with a leaked report into the future of the NHS raising the prospect of:
- dumping the NHS Constitution
- extending waiting times
- closing operating theatres and wards and cutting staff
- defunding treatments year-round to focus on the ‘winter response’
- dumping NICE drug-safety recommendations for adopting new stuff and ending funding for some treatments
- closure or downgrading A&E and maternity services
- banning some items from prescription lists
- selling off NHS estate and properties (already covered here)
More on that leak separately shortly
The Tories have rightly faced enormous criticism for the cuts to police and security services that Theresa May forced through as Home Secretary.
But they are also responsible – in spite of their lies about increased funding – for massive cuts to the NHS that we rely on to treat us and that saved lives so heroically in London and Manchester.
Cuts so massive that even a world-famous hospital generating millions of pounds by selling its facilities and services to overseas patients had such serious worries about its own viability that it felt compelled to mention the serious risk in its annual report.
If you care about the NHS – if you care about security for yourself and your children – you cannot afford to do anything else than remove the Tories tomorrow.
Thanks are due to the ‘Walking the Breadline’ Facebook team for information underpinning this article.
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