NHS chiefs dash county hopes of spending boost for services

HOPES of extra cash for NHS services in Yorkshire stricken by a decade-long financial crisis could be dashed after health chiefs ordered an urgent review which could divert money to other areas.

MPs and councillors in North Yorkshire are pressing for a NHS spending boost in the county, which is among the 10 per cent lowest funded in the country.

But yesterday the NHS Commissioning Board said it planned to carry out a “fundamental review” of a new formula to allocate 
funding to newly-created GP-
led clinical commissioning groups.

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NHS bosses said they were concerned it would “predominantly have resulted in higher growth for areas that already have the best health outcomes compared to those with the worst”. “On the face of it, this appears inconsistent with the NHS Commissioning Board’s public purpose to improve health outcomes for all patients and citizens and reduce health inequalities,” they added.

They had decided to give each group the same increase in 2013-14, instead of distributing funds according to the new formula.

If more cash is given to areas with worse health outcomes, this would benefit large parts of the region, but would hit North Yorkshire. It could also put the board on a collision course with Tory Ministers as it would typically mean cash migrating to the North.

Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams, who met Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week over the issue, said MPs from the county would make the case for a “fairer” funding formula to address the rurality of the area and the high numbers of over-85s living there.

“Too much weighting has been put on social deprivation and not enough on age profile and rurality,” he said.

Coun Jim Clark, chairman of North Yorkshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee, said neither the latest funding uplift nor changes to the formula would help the county. Senior NHS officials should visit to hear about its problems, he added.

‘Hurricane’ of cuts: Page 6.