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NHS Resource Allocation

Volume 564: debated on Tuesday 11 June 2013

Allocations to the NHS are the responsibility of NHS England. However, I have been advised that it will rely on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation for changes to the allocations formula.

While many wealthy areas are overfunded, Cornwall is more underfunded than anywhere else in the country. In the past six years, it has received in excess of £200 million less than the Government say it should receive. It also receives the lowest tariff in the country for acute care. Is the Secretary of State prepared to meet me and other representatives from Cornwall to address the serious issues that that is causing in front-line care?

My hon. Friend has had meetings with my ministerial colleagues on that issue and knows that such decisions are made at arm’s length from Ministers by NHS England. The allocation for NHS Kernow is £1,235 per head and the average baseline clinical commissioning group allocation is £1,184 per head. However, I recognise that there are issues with rurality and the age profile of the population. That is why a fundamental review is taking place of the approach that ACRA takes.

In response to a parliamentary question that I tabled, the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Dr Poulter), stated that circa £15 million in underspend was handed back to Public Health England by the now dissolved primary care trusts on Merseyside. Given that Liverpool has been identified as having some of the greatest health inequalities, will the Secretary of State guarantee that every penny of that £15 million will be spent in Merseyside alone?

What I can guarantee is that there will be a real-terms increase in the public health budget for all local authorities under a two-year settlement, which they did not have before. I hope that the information that was published this morning, which shows how cities that are comparable to Liverpool are managing to get better health outcomes, will help the local authority in Liverpool to improve its results.