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Health and Social Care Board supports trusts in controversial cost-cutting measures in Northern Ireland

Will cost-cutting on prescribing harm patients in Northern Ireland?

The Health and Social Care Board has backed controversial proposals to help meet a funding gap in the health service in Northern Ireland.

This includes a proposal from the Belfast Trust to substitute three expensive drug treatments with less expensive alternatives, with an apparent saving of £3m. It also includes a plan from Northern Trust to increase car parking costs on acute hospital sites and a proposal from Southern Trust to change arrangements for procuring community equipment.

Trusts in Northern Ireland consulted the public on proposals to make savings to help the health and social care services balance their books this year. This month’s decision to allocate an extra £40m to the service has reduced the amount of savings required. The HSC Board chief executive Valerie Watts said the service was still under pressure and that transformation and collective working were required.

Further information

HSCB: HSCB considers trusts’ major savings proposals

HSCB: HSC trust 2017/18 savings proposals

BBC News: NI has never met key NHS cancer target