Government proposals to cut top-up funding for specialist children’s units by two thirds have been drastically reduced after hospital bosses voiced fears for the future of the services.
Specialist children’s services currently receive 78% more funds than the standard amount paid to other hospitals for the same procedures. This enables more staff and closer monitoring when operations involve children, particularly with underlying health conditions.
After debates in parliament, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has agreed to a new proposal that will reduce the top-up for these services to 60%. It will also increase the number of operations eligible for the extra funds.
“I’m glad the Health Secretary is now backtracking on his plans for a stealth cut in the funding of specialist children’s hospitals,” commented the Shadow Health Secretary, John Healey. “I hope this sensible rethink helps reassure those NHS staff treating some of the most critically ill children in our country.”