The Labour group on Northamptonshire County Council has called for immediate action to safeguard funding for two local hospices.
The Telegraph yesterday revealed that Kettering’s Cransley Hospice and Northampton’s Cynthia Spencer Hospice are facing up to £2m in funding cuts as part of a review by the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group; which is the newly formed organisation that controls NHS spending in the county
Councillor Mary Butcher, who is a member of the county council’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee, said that while local people will continue to step up and raise valuable funds for the hospice, cuts of this magnitude “would be devastating”.
She said: “The Cynthia Spencer hospice provides outstanding support to residents across South Northamptonshire. We must not stand by whilst decisions are being made behind closed doors.”
Councillor John McGhee, the leader of the Labour Group on Northamptonshire County Council, is calling for an immediate pause in the funding discussions until there is more information available about why the changes are required.
He said: “Almost every week, we hear from the Government that no cuts are being made to the NHS budget.
“If that is the case, why are we now seeing what is a potentially catastrophic decision to take away such a large percentage of funding to these local facilities?
“So far, the only reason being given is that these facilities receive a higher percentage of funding than the national average.
“I will be demanding an explanation from the local commissioning group immediately, and also asking for the process to be put on hold until further information is made available.”