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Government accused of unfair funding allocations

Labour has accused the government of moving NHS spending from poorer areas in England to more affluent parts of the country, due to funding changes for primary care trusts.

Historically, poorer areas were given a higher level of funding per-capita but this is allegedly set to change.


Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary, dismissed the claims, pointing out that budgets are being increased throughout the country.


“We’re not taking money away from any parts of England, we’re increasing the budget for the health service in England. And not just increasing it overall in real terms but increasing it in each part of the country. The average increase in each primary care trust is 3%, compared to the provision the previous year, the minimum increase is 2.5% and actually the minimum increase is going to Kingston upon Thames in London, which is hardly a poor area” he said.


Public health bodies in Manchester carried out an assessment on funding changes, and it is on the results of this that Labour’s claims are based.


Claims that they stand by, pointing out that areas such as Tower Hamlets and Manchester will lose out when health funding is allocated, whereas Hampshire and Surrey, considered to be more affluent areas of the country, will benefit.


[quote top=Diane Abott, Shadow Health Minister, said] A responsible government, which cared about health and equalities, that cared about the health of the poor, would not be taking money away from inner city areas.
This isn't politics. This is about people's lives. This is about how quickly you can expect to get an operation, whether you get it as quickly as possible, whether you're made to wait artificially long - 15 weeks - rather than as quickly as possible. [/quote]


The government has said that the figures on which Labour has based its claims are misleading and based on independent advice, adding that budgets for primary care would in fact increase by a similar amount in both Tower Hamlets and Surrey this year.