£70m Health And Social Care Cuts On Way Fears Age NI

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Age NI Concerned About Proposed £70m Health And Social Care Budget Cuts.

Crisis looking ahead: the Health Board has asked the Trusts to propose a further £70m cuts for the coming financial year. 

South Down MLA Colin McGrath has also expressed his surprise and concerns at this announcement by the Health and Social Care Board.

A Department of Health spokesperson said:  “The Health and Social Care system is required to deliver an annual balanced financial plan in the 2017/18 financial year.

“Therefore, Trusts have been tasked by the Department to develop draft plans to deliver their share of a total of £70m of savings in 2017/18.

“The Department has advised the Trusts to consult on their savings proposals in line with the Department’s policy guidance on public consultations.  Each Trust will discuss the arrangements for their respective consultations with their Trust Board next week.

“The public will have their opportunity to comment on the draft savings proposals during the consultation period.”

South Down MLA Colin McGrath said: “This is another example of the Health Board cynically applying cuts to the health service on a Friday afternoon in the hope that no one will notice.

“The health service is on its knees at the present time and to apply further cuts is folly. It also highlights the desperate need for political direction and how the current lack of an Executive and Assembly will impact the most vulnerable in our society – those in need of health care.

“I would call on the Board to hold off implementing these cuts until some political leadership is available.”

In response to today’s news about proposed plans to cut £70 million from health and social care budgets across Northern Ireland, Linda Robinson, Age NI Chief Executive, said:  “This is extremely worrying as cuts to social care budgets will have a detrimental impact on older people who currently rely on social care services to stay well and to remain as independent as possible with dignity and independence.

In response to today’s news about proposed plans to cut £70 million from health and social care budgets across Northern Ireland, Linda Robinson, Age NI Chief Executive, said:  “This is extremely worrying as cuts to social care budgets will have a detrimental impact on older people who currently rely on social care services to stay well and to remain as independent as possible with dignity and independence.

“Social care has already been affected by efficiency savings and spending cuts over the last number of years. Any further cuts will only result in increased pressures in hospitals.

“Although people are living longer, many are spending a significant part of their later life unwell, or living with a disability or long-term health condition, that affects their quality of life. Social care acts as a lynchpin, providing vital services and support to prevent and address pressures elsewhere in the health system.

“Age NI is calling for politicians to ensure that the NI Executive is back up and running so that social care budgets will be protected as an urgent priority.”