Merton could get extra £12m after overhaul of NHS funding formula
An overhaul of NHS England funding formula could see £12m pumped into Merton in an attempt to redress longstanding inequalities across London.
Merton’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) received £208m to commission healthcare services for 2013-14 based on a 40 year old formula - the lowest received by any London borough.
Now fresh calculations under NHS England’s ‘fair shares’ formula, based largely on population, have shown the correct amount should have been £221m revealing an annual shortfall of £12m.
While Merton is set to gain from the changes if the formula is approved, neighbouring Wandsworth will lose out after it was revealed that the borough had been overfunded by a staggering £44m.
West London was found to have had the highest over allocation and could be set to have £88m stripped from its budget next year.
If approved money will be withdrawn and redistributed in the 2014-15 financial year across all 32 London borough’s redressing long standing inequalities which had seen some borough’s miss out on vital funding.
Dr Howard Freeman, clinical chair of Merton's CCG, said: "Merton CCG is very pleased that the proposed new NHS England CCG financial allocation formula recognises the issue of population growth, by using GP registered lists as the basis for allocation.
"Merton has a rapidly growing population, expecting approximately a nine percent growth in its residents over the next five years.
"This new approach should benefit Merton by more quickly recognising this growth in the funding the CCG has to spend on Merton residents' healthcare needs."
CCGs were introduced to replace primary care trusts after the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, following a comprehensive review of NHS England’s funding allocation policy.
The aim was to give GPs and other clinicians the power to influence commissioning decisions for their patients.
NHS England said CCGs were still being consulted over the proposals and confirmed no decision would be made until later in the year.
A spokesman said: "NHS England has a legal duty to ensure that patients have equal access to services across the country and to address health inequalities.
"It is only right that we examine the risks and benefits of a range of potential options for the future approach to allocation of funds.
"We are currently seeking the views of CCGs. Any decisions will take into account how a change in funding allocation will be introduced, and over what time period, to ensure there are no adverse effects on local services."
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