Dearne MPs lobby Health Secretary over funding formula

John Healey, MP
John Healey, MP

Dearne and Barnsley MPs have linked together to call for a review of the new funding formula for local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Four local MPs, Michael Dugher, John Healey, Dan Jarvis and Angela Smith have written a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP.

They are calling for a review of the NHS Allocations Policy which has led to proposed changes in how the allocation of resources is determined to local CCGs.

Their letter follows reports that Barnsley CCG is set to be deprived of £40.8 million under the new formula, a reduction of 13.5 per cent on its current allocation. This would be the seventh highest percentage loss of funding based on the current allocations.

The loss is a result of a shift in formula that moves away from health inequalities and towards age as a key factor. In their letter, the MPs argue that this shift “works against areas of high deprivation and lower life expectancy.”

The letter goes on to say: “We believe it is important to highlight that this does not take into consideration the fact that life expectancies are generally already higher in wealthier and better off areas, while poorer areas tend to have lower life expectancies. “If the new NHS funding formula is implemented, the gap between the wealthy and poor will only expand further and we are concerned that in areas like Barnsley it would lead to an increase in health inequalities.

“This possible reduction in funding is causing a great deal of concern in the borough of Barnsley.

“It is also of great concern that these decisions are being made in a very opaque manner with no clear rationale being made by NHS England.”