“Half a million facing 20-mile A&E trip in ‘crazy’ closure plans drawn up in the face of £30m funding black hole.” – Daily Mail

An article published in the Daily Mail:

“Half a million people will be left 20 miles from their nearest A& E under ‘deeply worrying’ plans to cut two neighbouring casualty units. The imminent threats are to the A& Es in Milton Keynes and Bedford, which between them serve at least 500,000 people in an area with a fast-growing population. GPs have drawn up the cost-cutting plans as they face a £30million black hole in their NHS finances. If both units close, emergency patients will have to go to Northampton, Kettering or Luton for life-saving treatment. All are at least 20 miles away from both towns.
The latest threats mean there are now 16 units across England facing the axe.

Both A& Es could close next year, despite warnings from Simon Stevens, new chief executive of the NHS, that England’s emergency services are already ‘quite concentrated’ and they should not be cut from ‘viable local hospitals’ without very careful thought. Politicians and health campaigners condemned the plans. The proposals are outlined in a new public document drawn up by Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the local NHS authorities that pay a large chunk of the hospitals’ bills. The GPs who run the groups have outlined 14 scenarios for the two hospitals. Only three involve both hospitals retaining full A& Es.”

Read the full article here.