Suffolk: Health bosses get lower share of NHS funding per person than colleagues in other parts of the country

Health minister, Dr Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Health minister, Dr Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich - Credit: Archant

GPs tasked with providing health services across Suffolk have less money to spend per person than their counterparts in other parts of the country, it has emerged.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey tabled a question to health minister Dr Dan Poulter, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, to find out the funding allocations for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) per person, by region.

The results show CCGs in the east have £1,055 to spend per person, below the average in England of £1,435.

The table ranks the east bottom of nine regions, with the south west top with £1,432 to spend per person and the north east where CCGs have £1,315 to spend per person.

Dr Poulter said the funding formula, which is made up of around 40 components, was set by previous governments and was weighted in the past to favour deprived areas.

But he said the Government has vowed to change the formula to base funding on the needs of patients rather than political priority.

That, he said, will see more money being available to health bosses in Suffolk in the future to cope with the complex needs of an ageing population.

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“Nationally we are not where I would like to see the east of England,” said Dr Poulter.

“We know the challenge will be looking after older people with greater health care needs as people live longer and suffer long term conditions.

“The problem is the funding formula is one we have inherited from the previous Labour government.

“It was weighted primarily towards areas of deprivation.

“We have already introduced some changes to focus on the needs of patients and funding is now decided by NHS England – that is going to help take politics out of it.

“In the future funding will be determined by clinical need not politics and in the future people in Suffolk will benefit from that.

“But to re-balance the funding formula will take some time, it has to be done gradually so as not to affect any area adversely.

“I am confident due to the ageing population in Suffolk that in future health bosses will receive greater funding per person to accommodate the growing complex health needs of our population.”

Dr Coffey added: “We know Suffolk gets less per head than it should do.

“MPs are mobilising, with the change in governance structure to press the commissioning board in their review of the funding formula as to why Suffolk gets a poor deal.”

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