“The people of Teesside have been robbed again.” This was the reaction of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (13th January 2015) when details of new government NHS Primary Care funding for local GP and Health Centre were announced.
Tom was commenting after the details of extra funding for NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) promised was announced and a league table of increases across England was published.
“George Osborne promised that the government would increase its planned funding for the NHS in 2015-16 by around £2bn in last year’s Autumn Statement, with some £1.5bn of it is due to be allocated to CCGs and specialised commissioning budgets at neighbourhood level.
“Now we have seen how this cash will be spent and more importantly the winners and losers. Once again Teesside, and the North in general, has lost out to the South East. This is yet another clear sign that this Government is consciously and deliberately redistributing funds from our area to Tory political priorities in the south of the country.
“When we look at the tables it is clear that some 54 CCGs in the Home Counties are getting a percentage boost of around 3.5%, whilst the South Tees CCG covering my constituency gets a meagre 0.24%. Amongst the biggest gaining areas are places like Eastbourne and Bromley who get over 3.8% whilst Windsor and the Prime Minister’s own area of Oxfordshire get a 3.6% increase.
“Areas like South Tees have greater health needs than wealthy suburbs. These allocations will do nothing to boost the cash for local GP clinics seeking to recruit the urgent need for new GP’s where we have a pattern of long standing vacancies. All In all, this is a gift for the wealthy and a kick in the teeth for Teesside.”