NHS £50 per head shortfall in south Northamptonshire

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Next year’s NHS budget in southern Northamptonshire will increase, but will still leave each person £50 worse off than health bosses need.

NHS Nene leaders have in the past called for the ‘Fair Share Calculation’ to be applied in order to close the gap between the county’s annual budget and what patients really need, which is the biggest gap in the country.

Last year NHS Nene was under-funded by £68 per head.

Although there has now been an extra allocation for 2015/16 of £54m, that still leaves the county £50 per head below the ‘fair’ target.

Allocations are largely based on historical need, but experts say it is now risky to redress the balance in one go for fear of destabilising counties that have become reliant on favourable budgets.

The Government said it had met its own pledge of moving NHS trusts to within five per cent of the fair allocation.

But others disagree that this is enough.

East Midlands Councils is one of a number of bodies calling for the Government to completely bridge the gap.

Its report this week recommended that trusts should be moved to their target allocations within a maximum of two years. The Labour party at County Hall said it agreed.

Leader John McGhee (Kingswood), said: “I’m extremely disappointed we have again been handed such a shortfall.

“The NHS bodies in the county struggle to balance their books, they have bed blocking and cancelled operations and this latest allocation is not going to solve that. We have real pockets of deprivation with 15-year variations in life expectancy and they deserve a better allocation than this. The Government’s allocation is an insult to the people of Northamptonshire.”