LABOUR accused the government yesterday of “trying to cover up” plans to slash millions of pounds from NHS funding.
Leaked documents have laid bare the secret scheme that will see NHS budgets decimated, wards closed, services cut, treatments abolished and waiting times soar.
However, since the shocking plans, dubbed the NHS capped expenditure process (CEP), were publicised in the Health Service Journal recently, the government has been silent.
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth wrote to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday complaining that there had been a “cover-up” of the government’s plans for the NHS.
He accused Mr Hunt, his ministers and the government of refusing to answer questions about the CEP proposals.
But they are now known to include the targeting of 14 individual health regions — and particular treatments, such as IVF — for cuts.
Mr Ashworth said yesterday: “There is an astonishing lack of transparency around this whole process.
“Across the country, patients and their families are living in fear that local services they rely on will be cut back to plug the black hole which this government has created.
“This government wants to give the impression that this is for NHS managers to sort out, [while ministers] wash their hands of a process which involves hundreds of millions of pounds of public money.
“This is an unacceptable abdication of responsibilities to patients and the public and gives the impression of trying to cover up this new round of NHS cuts.”
The proposals are also believed to include selling off NHS land and property.
The Department of Health had not responded to requests for comment before the Star went to press.