Lib Dem PPC alarmed at PCT financial report

December 20, 2009 9:21 PM

Nigel Quinton, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hitchin & Harpenden, is calling for an urgent explanation from the PCT after they announced a £24M deficit at a Scrutiny Committee meeting at County Hall.

The PCT has not explained how this amount has accumulated, but admitted that they were now seeking £28m of cuts to try to bring their finances back to order.

Nigel said: "We are already getting reports from residents worried that their GP's have said they cannot be referred to hospital consultants for anything other than the most urgent items. This is the effect of their £28m cuts. We believe that GP's have been issued with a list of matters that they can refer. If your illness isn't on the list, you won't get a referral until after April 2010. This is scandalous.

"We deserve to hear what has gone so badly wrong, and an explanation as to why. The PCT's behaviour yesterday at the Hertfordshire Health Scrutiny Committee, where papers were held back and only circulated at the meeting following questions by the Liberal Democrats is an insult to the system of public scrutiny.

"The implication of the presentation given by the PCT was that their forecasts for transferring treatment from hospitals to primary care have been over optimistic. If this is the case then the solution will not be found in making knee jerk cuts, but in accelerating the necessary investment. We need to know what other impact these cuts are going to have, particularly to ongoing capital projects.

"I believe there needs to be an urgent inquiry, with its findings to be made public, so that lessons can be learned from this fiasco."