Warning Tories’ NHS funding shake up could see places like Hampshire benefiting at the expense of Hackney

Cllr Jonathan McShane

Cllr Jonathan McShane - Credit: Archant

Changes in the way the government allocates health funding could see City and Hackney lose out on over £17 million a year.

Draft funding formulas calculating the amount of NHS cash awarded to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) show that Hackney clinical commissioning group’s (CCG) £341 million budget will be slashed by five per cent.

It represents a loss of £61 a head for Hackney residents.

The proposed formula published by NHS England – which allocates £68 billion a year to the recently created CCGs – removes the deprivation weighting currently used to point cash towards fighting health inequalities, and is age based instead.

Consultation is underway with CCGs, which were set up in April by the Tories to replace primary care trusts, and results will be announced in December.

Royal College of Nursing London regional director Bernell Bussue has spoken out against the “unfair and unacceptable” proposals, which would see London as a whole losing £220 million.

He believes the changes would exacerbate the health inequalities the NHS should be trying to address.

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“London has some of the sharpest health inequalities in the world, with life expectancy varying by as much as 17 years,” he said.

“It cannot be right to make changes to health funding that would see money diverted away from the very people who need it most.”

Cllr Jonathan McShane, cabinet member for health, social care and culture claimed all three sources for health and social care funding in Hackney are facing much bigger cuts than in richer parts of the country.

“Changes to NHS funding benefit places like Hampshire at our expense,” he warned.

“The new public health funding formula will see Hackney’s money cut by up to 40 per cent, and we continue to face bigger cuts to local government funding than rich areas which affects how we pay for social care.”

But a spokesman for NHS England they have a legal duty to ensure patients have equal access to services across the country and to address health inequalities.

“We need to therefore consider the best way to distribute funding to meet these objectives,” she said.

“It is only right that we examine the risks and benefits of a range of potential options for the future approach to allocation of funds.

“Any decisions will take into account how a change in funding allocation will be introduced, and over what time period, to ensure there are no adverse effects on local services.”