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Editor’s blog Sunday 25 July 2010: Telegraph lists NHS activity cuts under way

The Sunday Telegraph's Laura Donnelly knows a non-story from a story - ex-HSJ editor, you know the form.

So it is time to take quite seriously her report on NHS service reductions or removals in progress.

She reports - and will have checked, carefully - that surgery is being restricted, with Hertfordshire PCT rationing hip and knee replacement replacement service, cateract surgery and orthodontics absolutely without the granting of its prior permission on a case-by-case basis.

Other examples are more equivocal - Sutton and Merton PCT's plan to reduce acute admissions for the terminally ill through improving self-care could be the right thing to do for patient care, assuming it is properly done and resourced. People generally say they want to die at home. A decent community service could improve patient experience and save money. It will depend on the circumstances.

The plan to reduce acute beds and attempt to avoid the ongoing march of A&E attendance are also writ large in copperplate in the book of Things That Are Not Surprising.

But one final thought: this will focus local communities' attention on what their local NHS is planning to do.

This is A Good Thing.

And is these proposed service alterations amount to significant service changes, then of course the local NHS organisations will have consulted with their communities, as they are legally obliged to do.

Won't they?

Elsewhere, Laura also reports an allegation that the surgeon at the centre of the Radcliffe paediatric surgery inquiry had asked to stop operating. Her source is likely to be a good one.

The report is due out on Thursday, so we will not have to wait long for confirmation.