The following is republished from BBC News and outlines the challenge faced by the NHS in Derbyshire.
The area will have a funding gap of £355m by 2020-21 if nothing is done.
What is being done?
There is a question mark over the future of community hospitals in Bakewell, Bolsover and Belper. A focus on prevention will save money down the line using “wellness hubs” which will screen, provide short term interventions and work with people to help themselves when it comes to things like diet and exercise.
Infrastructure costs will be reduced by 10% through shared back-office and management and £247m more care will be delivered in the community, not in hospitals, through the development of “community hubs” or networks. The plan is light on detail as to how savings will be achieved.
The Liberal Democrat Position
The National Health Service was one of the focal points of the Social Insurance and Allied Services report undertaken by Liberal economist William Beveridge. Although initially rejected by both the Tories and Labour, the latter took much of it on board for their post-War Election manifesto. Today the Liberal Democrats continue in the footsteps of our predecessors. We will always fight to protect our health and care system, and ensure it can carry on delivering for future generations. But to do that, we know we must recognise and address the critical funding and capacity challenges these services face.
We know we need additional investment in health and care services as a matter of urgency and have called on the Government to set up an independent, cross-party commission to look at how we can deliver a new, sustainable settlement for health and care in the longer term. We have set up our own panel of leading experts, the Beveridge Commission, who will produce recommendations on improving health and care funding later in the year.
Liberal Democrats are clear that our national healthcare system must provide high quality care to all – across both mental and physical health. We have long campaigned for equality of mental health care in our NHS. In Government we secured additional investment and the first ever treatment waiting-time standards for mental health, and we will continue to campaign tirelessly for the highest standards of care and the extra money which is still needed.
We would also like to see health and care services delivered in a more integrated way and to empower people to take more control of their care through personal budgets which allow people to choose services to fit their individual needs.
The Liberal Democrats believe in treating drug use, legal or illegal, as a health issue, not a criminal justice one. We support the introduction of a regulated cannabis market in the UK, and call on the Government to listen to the growing body of international evidence which shows that legalising and regulating cannabis delivers significant benefits to public health, as well as reducing harms within the criminal justice system.