Corby demands fair funding for healthcare

Today I spoke in Parliament to demand fair funding for healthcare in Corby, highlighting a recent report from the National Audit Office that says the town is the worst funded area of England for healthcare.

The report, which can be read here, shows that Corby receives £186 less per person per year than the allocation that NHS England says it needs. It is officially recognised by the NAO as the worst funded area of England for healthcare.

It is totally wrong that health services in Corby are being starved of funds. How can it be right that people in Chelsea or in Kensington in West London are allocated £694 per person extra a year for health funding? Corby Healthcare is doing a good job of managing with limited funds in some areas, such as the new Urgent Care Centre, but other services are having to be cut back.

The problem is even more acute than the National Audit Office suggests because the allocation decisions do not take account of population growth. Corby is a fast growing town with the highest birth rate in England.

I am calling on the government to fund Corby Healthcare at the target amount next year. We are not asking for a rebate for underfunding in previous years, although that would be welcome, but it is a basic question of fairness that Corby should be funded according to needs.

In the coming months I will be asking local people to join my campaign for fair health funding and together we will demand that the government listens and ends the injustice of filling the coffers of health commissioners in wealthy areas at the expense of Corby.

Each year the Department of Health and NHS England make allocations to local Clinical Commissioning Groups who then commission local health services on behalf of their local population. The amount of funding that individual commissioners are allocated is calculated using ‘funding formulae’ and a ‘target funding allocation’ which represents the fair share of available funding that should be allocated to each local commissioner.

The National Audit Office report states:

“We aggregated funding for primary care, hospital, community and mental health services, and public health at a more local level, based on clinical commissioning group geographical areas. This exploratory analysis suggests that in 2013-14, on average, local areas received £1,371 per person for locally commissioned healthcare, ranging from £1,076 in Oxfordshire to £1,845 in Knowsley. The funding received ranged from £186 per person (12.8%) below target (in Corby) to £508 per person (39.3%) above target (in West London) (paragraphs 2.25 to 2.27).”

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, speaking on the launch of the report on the 11th September 2014 said:

“Funding allocations have reflected, among other factors, a desire not to upset local health economies by taking funding away or even by increasing it by less than inflation. This has significantly slowed progress towards a fair distribution where funding fully reflects need across the country. The Department and NHS England need to consider carefully whether this approach is fast-moving enough to sustain hard-pressed local areas in the next few years.”


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