Fair health funding welcomed

A NURSING union has welcomed news that health chiefs have rejected a controversial new formula for health funding.

The NHS Commissioning Board has announced that it will be allocating each new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which are to replace Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), a standard 2.3 per cent increase in funding.

There had been plans to adopt a new formula developed by the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, which could have seen a 15 per cent cut to the region’s health budget.

Last year the Government suggested that community health funding should be allocated according to age rather than deprivation.

But the Royal College of Nursings’s regional director Glen Turp has welcomed news that the change has been rejected.

He said: “We’ve always said that it is vital that NHS resources need to be allocated fairly across the country.

“That means giving due weight to the challenging socio-economic deprivation factors that can have such a devastating effect on health outcomes.

“The RCN Northern Region has highlighted in the past the huge gap in life expectancy between parts of the North-East and parts of the South East.

“And it is right that the NHS continues to have the resources to address the factors behind health inequalities.

“It is important that the system for allocating NHS resources should be free from political interference and is instead based on genuine health needs at a local level.”

NHS commissioning chief Ian Dalton confirmed that the new formula, drawn up under the demands of former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, would have “moved resources from areas where people sadly have worse health outcomes to those where people have much better outcomes”.