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. John Denham MP is calling on the government to restore the money being taken from Southampton.
New figures calculated by health expert Professor Bambra shows that Southampton City PCT stands to lose over £5 million a year – £20 per person. Whilst the same rule-change would see Surrey’s NHS gain over £400M.
The Tories are failing our NHS:
· 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.
· Health and Social Care Bill passed against popular support from professionals.
John Denham MP for Southampton Itchen has described the move as: “Cynical, politically motivated, unethical and immoral.
“This study highlights the single biggest attack on improving public health in Southampton. Deprivation has a massive impact on the demand on our NHS and it is scandalous 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 are spiralling upwards. Last month the Department of Health revealed a 8% increase in people in Southampton 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.”