Monday, 12 May 2008

Up to 5,000 beds facing axe in NHS cancer shake-up

The government plans to close up to 5,000 beds on cancer wards in a reorganisation of the way patients are treated, according to a report by experts in the disease.

Government figures show the National Health Service aims to save up to £500m a year from an “inpatient management programme” that it describes as preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and reducing the length of time patients spend in hospital.

Cancer doctors and health economists say the changes could make better use of money for cancer treatment but accuse the government of hiding the extent of the bed closures from the public.

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