Money to ease pressures on county's hospitals is cut by two thirds

NHS England gave £10.2m to Oxfordshire’s NHS authorities and Oxfordshire County Council to deal with the seasonal increase in health problems

NHS England gave £10.2m to Oxfordshire’s NHS authorities and Oxfordshire County Council to deal with the seasonal increase in health problems

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

EXTRA cash to ease pressure on the county’s NHS and social services over the coming winter is to be slashed by almost two-thirds.

NHS England gave £10.2m to Oxfordshire’s NHS authorities and Oxfordshire County Council to deal with the seasonal increase in health problems.

But this year it is set to be cut to about £4m, although NHS England has not responded to Oxford Mail requests to explain why.

Extra funds are given to services for the winter because of seasonal bugs and as cold weather can exacerbate existing health conditions.

Bicester’s Diane Maudling, whose late husband Peter spent 12 weeks at the John Radcliffe in 2011 – despite being well enough to leave – called it “ludicrous”.

Mrs Maudling, 76, said: “It needs more resources, not necessarily in the hospital but across the county. It is a huge problem.”

NHS England said no final decisions had been taken on the funding and refused to comment further.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is among the NHS bodies which gets the cash, along with ambulance, hospital and mental health bosses OCCG told the Oxford Mail the grant will be “around £4m” with a final figure due in September.

The group also said NHS England could additionally “claw back” funds from OCCG – which spent £635.7m this year – after the winter if it does not show results.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said it was “very worrying news”.

He said: “Oxfordshire very much needed that extra money earmarked for winter pressures to get through a very difficult financial situation. Obviously if they cut the money it’s really going to put the OCCG under very severe pressure.

“I don’t think it’s going to be justified because it’s not like we’re going to have less health need this coming winter than last winter.”

Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry said: “This is an entirely discretionary payment and I suspect it reflects the difficulties which particular trusts have had in the previous years.

“I don’t think it’s ever been a sum of money that was intended to be distributed by a formula, or any suggestion that once a hospital trust received a sum then if it didn’t receive the same amount the next year it should be seen as a ‘cut’. It reflects that they dealt with winter pressures last year competently.”

Henley MP John Howell said: “I don’t think I have a comment until I’ve seen the explanation.”

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood said the £4m figure was too low and she would be asking NHS England for an explanation.

Witney MP and Prime Minister David Cameron and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey did not respond to a request to comment.

Interim chief operating officer Regina Shakespeare said the group was happy to receive any extra money.

She said that NHS England would be deciding on the funding and made no further comment.

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “The finalised amounts of money for each region nationally to assist with winter pressures for 2014/15 have not yet been announced. It is therefore too early to comment on how such funding could be utilised in Oxfordshire.”

SUPPORT

LAST year’s money paid for:

  • 12 extra community hospital beds
  • 27 community nurses
  • 65 beds
  • 12 social workers 
  • Three A&E doctors

 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Delays on M40 near Bicester after vehicle fire

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

7:18pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

THERE are delays of up to half an hour on the M40 after an earlier vehicle fire.

Woman sexually assaulted in pub car park in Kidlington

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:21pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

A woman has been sexually assaulted in a pub car park in Kidlington.

Horse killed in crash near Steeple Aston

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:26pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

A HORSE was killed after it collided with a car near Steeple Aston yesterday.

Gritters out tonight as mercury plummets across Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail: Gritter lorries get ready to set out last night

2:17pm Sunday 23rd November 2014

OXFORDSHIRE is set for a cold snap tonight and tomorrow with temperatures as low as -2C expected in some parts of the county.

Have you seen missing 23-year-old Kerri Hutt from Witney?

Oxford Mail:

11:51am Sunday 23rd November 2014

A WOMAN from Witney has been missing since Friday.

Attack in Oxford city centre leaves two men needing hospital treatment

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:24pm Saturday 22nd November 2014

TWO men were assaulted in Oxford city centre last weekend.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:43am Tue 29 Jul 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

How much was returned unspent last year?
How much was returned unspent last year? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree