Today, local campaigners will be handing a petition to Downing Street about fairer funding. I am disappointed that constituency engagements in Wycombe and very short notice mean I am unable to join them.
I understand the text of the petition is as follows:
We ask you [the Chancellor] to ensure that Buckinghamshire not only receives the national average in funds, but we also receive enough public funding so that key services are restored to Wycombe Hospital.
I have twice submitted petitions to the Government on fairer funding for Wycombe Hospital. You can read my previous blog posts on those petitions here. I have also laid out what I understand could realistically be achieved in Wycombe here.
The fairer funding process
NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) receive more funding each year based on a funding formula. Over the years, formulae had resulted in some substantial differences in allocations across the country and consequently some significant differences between actual and target funding. Unfortunately, various factors slow the process of moving actual funding to match the targets.
The formula for 2016/17 to 2020/21 could see some CCGs with funding increases of around 10%, while others could see decreases of as much as 34%. To avoid wild swings in year-on-year allocations and make funding fairer, the Department of Health constrains increases in allocations where CCGs are determined to be over target.
That is, to make funding fairer, CCGs that are above target generally receive less than the national average funding increase while CCGs below target will receive more than the national average increase.
As the graphs below show, funding across the country is substantially fairer in 2015-16 than 2009-10 in distance from target terms.
Distance from target allocations, 2009-10
(Primary Care Trusts)
[Source: National Audit Office, 2010]
Distance from target allocations, 2015-16
(Clinical Commissioning Groups)
[Source: NHS England, 2016]
Chiltern CCG received £903 per head in 2013/14. In 2015/16 this rose to £949 per head. Chiltern CCG is currently -2.67% under the target, but this distance from target will continue to decrease: I expect funding to continue to become fairer.
I look forward to the Government’s response to this latest petition. As ever, I will continue in Parliament to advance the best possible healthcare in Wycombe.