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Swine flu costs could lead to NHS cut backs

Published on 06/05/2010
The NHS may be forced to make cut backs in order to recoup the cost of tackling swine flu.

A survey by GP magazine found that, on average, each primary care trust (PCT) in England spent £340,000 on items such as vaccinations and a publicity campaign in responding to the swine flu outbreak.

This means that one in six PCTs will be forced to, or already has, cut other services in order to compensate while others have used contingency funds to meet these costs.

The figures also revealed a significant variation in costs between different trusts, ranging from £11,000 in Milton Keynes to £1.7 million in Eastern and Coastal Kent.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's GP Committee, told the news provider: "I think a pandemic should be seen as an exceptional circumstance and a PCT should be fully supported by central government.

"The whole nature of a national health service is that one area should be able to support another, and the unusual financial burden of this episode should be borne centrally."

It follows a recent survey of NHS nurses that revealed nine out of ten believe spending cuts are leading to a lack of frontline staff, which in turn is compromising patient care.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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