Tory-led government's NHS changes are the wrong prescription for the North East & Cumbria

Andy Burnham and Shadow Health Team visit as figures show a £224m cost for Cameron's plans in the region. 


LABOUR'S Shadow Health Team visited the North East on Thursday 12 January as the campaign to persuade the government to drop their Health and Social Care Bill continued. 


Andy Burnham at the Drop the Bill eventFigures revealed by Labour, show that Primary Care Trusts in the North East & Cumbria have been told to set aside over £224m to pay for the changes over the next two years. 


Government guidance, buried in the NHS "Operating Framework" document, will force Health Trusts to set aside part of their budget to pay for the government's changes. Money that would be better spent on patient care. 


Andy Burnham and Labour's Shadow Health Team will be visited the region to "work shadow" front-line NHS staff at Hospitals and NHS Services across the North East. Mr Burnham visited The Great North Children's Hospital at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary. Liz Kendall joined Matrons at North Tees University Hospital in Stockton whilst Diane Abbott worked with staff at Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington. Debbie Abrahams visited staff at the North East Ambulance Service 999/111 control centre and Bishop Auckland Urgent Care Centre. 


Later in the day the team came together at a "Drop the Bill" campaign event in Newcastle to highlight the cost of the Government's reckless plans to the region's NHS. 


Andy Burnham, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary said: 


"The Government's Health Bill is the wrong prescription for the NHS in the North East and Cumbria. 


"To force local Health Trusts in the North to set aside over £224m to pay for bureaucracy and redundancies, when patients are waiting longer for treatment, is wrong. David Cameron's reckless reorganisation is hitting the NHS hard with costs topping £3.45 billion across the country.


"People in the North did not vote for it and our doctors, nurses and patients have already expressed huge concerns at the plans. Yet David Cameron is ploughing on with his Health Bill, ignoring public and professional opinion. I want to see for myself the reality on the ground in the North East and hear directly from staff so I can use their experiences to challenge this out of touch government." 




Notes to Editors: 


1. Cameron's plans will cost the NHS in the North East & Cumbria more than £224m. The Government's new NHS guidelines will force the NHS to set aside millions of pounds more than previously thought to cover reorganisation costs. The request is buried in the annual 'Operating Framework' document that was published at the end of November. The framework requires PCTs to set aside 2% of their budget in 2011/12 and 2012/13 - a total of £3.44bn. This money will be used to pay for Cameron's NHS reorganisation. 


 2. A breakdown of the cost per Primary Care Trust is below: 


Primary Care Trust  Increase in no. of patients waiting 18 wks + since May 2010  Amount set aside for reorganisation  

County Durham PCT  38% £38,414,164 

Cumbria Teaching PCT  57% £33,586,330 

Darlington PCT  71% £7,050,033 

Gateshead PCT  76% £15,219,022 

Hartlepool PCT  16% £7,058,603 

Middlesbrough PCT  60% £11,198,727 

Newcastle PCT  -15% £19,758,756 

North Tyneside PCT  25% £14,807,400 

Northumberland Care Trust  53% £21,453,171 

Redcar and Cleveland PCT  63% £10,096,252 

South Tyneside PCT  65% £11,947,845 

Stockton-on-Tees Teaching PCT  49% £12,536,718 

Sunderland Teaching PCT  41% £21,749,775 

Total     £224,876,796 


3. Labour's Drop The Bill campaign aims to unify patients, NHS staff and the public in a final rallying cry, calling on the Government to drop its unwanted Health and Social Care Bill. For further information visit 


4. ‘Drop the Health Bill' e-petition: People are being urged to add their name to the Government petition at