Government plan funding changes for the NHS which will see money taken away from the poorest areas
Tory-led Government plans to change the NHS funding formula will see areas with the highest levels of deprivation lose billions from their healthcare budgets, with wealthier areas benefitting from the change.
News figures calculated by health expert Professor Bambra shows that South Birmingham PCT stands to lose over £70,000 a year – a loss of £196per person. Whilst the same rule-change would see Surrey’s NHS gain over £400M.
Department of Health considerations, revealed by Andrew Lansley last month, would introduce an age related funding model for the NHS. In a speech the Health Secretary let slip that deprivation should not be taken into account when setting budgets and greater focus should be given to age and population size.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“I am very alarmed about the findings of Professor Bambra’s report. Once again this Government is proving the NHS is not safe in their hands.
“This study highlights the single biggest attack on improving public health in Birmingham. Deprivation has a massive impact on the demand on our NHS and it is utterly irresponsible for the Government to consider no longer taking this into account. Local hospitals and patients will struggle, whilst the money is directly channelled to areas where there is least need and people already live longest.
“This Government is attacking the NHS from every angle – thousands of nursing jobs are being axed and waiting times area spiralling upwards. In South Birmingham there is a 53% increase in people who waited longer than 18 weeks for operations since this Tory-led Government came to power. Patients and the NHS deserve better.”
Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health Policy, calculated the full effect of changes for the British Medical Journal. The academic’s research shows budgets for affluent areas with a higher life expectancy will increase at the expense of poorer areas with a lower life expectancy.
Professor Bambra said:
“Severing the link between deprivation and NHS spending is very dangerous.
“My research also found that there is a trend for the regions that are more likely to vote for Labour will lose money whereas the areas that are more likely to vote for the Conservatives will increase their funding.”