Light bulbs hit by NHS cuts

Service cuts, minimum waiting times and even removing light bulbs from corridors are just a few of the NHS cost-cutting measures reported last week.

Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust in Surrey, which needs to save £24m, removed about 40 light bulbs from communal corridors to save money on electricity bills.

A BBC survey found that one in four PCTs admitted to forcing patients to wait longer than necessary for treatment.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said in November 2006 she would take ‘personal responsibility’ for returning the NHS to financial balance by the end of next month.

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said he had recently heard that GPs in York had their referral options cut and hospitals were operating with minimum as well as maximum waiting times.

In Cambridge he said that one PCT with a five-year plan to bring itself out of the red was being pressured to do it in just one year by its SHA ‘bringing some areas of care to a complete halt’.

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Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has vowed to take personal responsibility if the NHS is not in financial balance by April.

Every manager in the UK is now slashing services in the race to Save Pat’s Job. Each week GP will keep you up to date with how the campaign is going, so tell us about all the latest cuts in your local area by emailing

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