REGIONAL NHS ‘risk assessments’ have been published showing the fears that NHS managers have of the consequences of the government’s Health and Social Care Bill becoming law before Easter.
The assessments are by the four NHS ‘super-regions’ in England, which were created last year by merging 10 regional bodies together, into London, the south of England, the Midlands and east, and the north of England.
The north of England assessment warns of a high risk of ‘organisational and system instability’ damaging management and governance, and uncertainty caused by the changes that could reduce the capacity and capability of staff and organisations.
The Midlands and East of England register warns of worse quality and safety, of conflict between organisations, a neglect of primary care, overspending, and failure to meet key targets such as limiting the number of patients who wait more than 18 weeks for treatment.
Risks in the region include loss of key personnel, staff working in ‘silos’ and ‘organisational and system failures’.
In the south of England there were warnings of worse safety and patient care.
London’s register warned of confused accountability, staff losing focus on patients because they were distracted by management changes and the loss of ‘key talent’.
It warned of a threat to children’s services and problems for maternity services, as well as ‘specific failures or deteriorations in the financial position of one or more NHS organisations, with the resulting loss of operating credibility’.
A Unison spokeswoman told News Line: ‘These regional risk registers highlight the concerns that we are worried about, now we need the national risk register to be published.
‘The government must come clean and publish it and put it in the public domain.’
BMA General Council member Anna Athow told News Line: ‘The risks outlined from the regions are exactly what you would expect.
‘The plan of the privatisers always has been to cause “creative destruction”, they even say it. Now they are doing it.
‘The unions must not stand idly by and watch this destruction of the NHS. They must join together with the TUC and call industrial action to stop this bill going through.’