It seems strange that Guy’s and St Thomas’ were chosen to pilot a groundbreaking scheme to deliver care locally, but have now found themselves shortchanged over the costs of implementing it.
The hospital’s management confirmed to us this week that a request for £11.2m of funding for the ‘vanguard’ project had led to just £2.5m being received – with similar shortages affecting hospital partnerships across England.
The scheme allows care specialists and consultants to treat patients further afield, saving them the trouble of travelling to central London, which makes perfect sense. But you have to wonder how the figure the trust arrived it is so far off the amount of funding given to them by NHS England.
Innovative schemes to improve access to services and the patient experience are always welcomed – but as we have seen with the anger over seven day NHS plans, if they don’t come with the requisite amount of funding, then they’re not so much schemes as wishful thinking.