Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has today (5th November 2013) secured a Westminster Hall debate over NHS funding in the North East and Teesside.
The issue was raised following research that if a proposed NHS funding formula is given the go ahead then the North East could lose out heavily.
The new formula that would decide how much the local NHS clinical commissioning body has to spend is, for the first time, expected to exclude social deprivation and poor health from the formula and instead distribute money on the general need of the population.
“These figures are frightening for Teesside and for the South Tees area which covers my constituency. To suggest that over the next couple of years that 17 and half million pounds be stripped out of the cash allocation for primary care GP service led services in the South Tees area, will mean that a an areas with some of the worse health inequalities in the UK will lose out, with that cash being diverted to wealthy areas like Sussex, Kent and the Prime Minister’s own area of Oxfordshire.
“If this is allowed to happen, then cash will be drained from GP surgeries across the South Tees area, from cash transfers to local hospitals for critical patients and from joint GP, Council and nursing services for elderly care and home visiting.
“If areas of greater deprivation are given less NHS funding then economic inequality becomes health inequality. If NHS funds are disproportionately going south then it puts the North at a disadvantage.
“Unfortunately this isn’t my only concern I have for the NHS in our area. In the debate I also intend to highlight the complete lack of winter funding for local A&E services and the current investigation over treatment times being carried out by health regulator Monitor.”