THE huge £19million deficit facing North Yorkshire’s NHS bosses could be wiped out if the Government spent as much on patients in our region as in other parts of Yorkshire, it has been claimed.
Kevin McAleese, chairman of the soon-to-be disbanded NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT, has used one of his final reports to blast the “unfair” allocation of Government cash in our region.
He blames a formula which has seen other PCT trusts in Yorkshire “awash with cash” while North Yorkshire faces hard-hitting cut-backs to claw back its multi-million pound shortfall.
In his report, to be presented to a trust board meeting in York next week, he writes: “If NHS North Yorkshire and York had enjoyed the funding of every other PCT area (but the East Riding) in 2012/13, it would not only not have a deficit at all but would have enjoyed a surplus of between £45 million and £163 million.”
He said our region’s ageing population had not been taken into account in the Government’s funding formula and he asked why a predicted regional surplus of £63million could not go towards wiping out North Yorkshire’s deficit.
North Yorkshire and York PCT will cease to exist this spring and responsibility for spending the millions of government health cash in our region will fall on regional Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), made up of local GPs.
However, York MP Hugh Bayley has pointed out that the Vale of York CCG will start life not only with an inherited debt, but with one of the lowest allocations per-head of population in Yorkshire.
Vale of York CCG will be handed £1,050 to spend on each person per year, while neighbouring Scarborough and Ryedale gets £1,234 and Airedale £1,172 per person.
He said: “It is not fair or acceptable for the Government to give NHS patients from other parts North Yorkshire more money and access to a wider range of treatments than patients from my city. It is, after all, a national health service.”
The NHS Commissioning Board, which decides funding, said allocations for 2013/14 included “real terms uniform increase in funding to all CCGs”.
A spokesman said: “This will give these new organisations the opportunity to maintain stability in their first year.
“The NHS Commissioning Board is in the process of conducting a fundamental review of the approach to allocations, drawing on the expert advice of Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation and involving all partners whose functions impact on outcomes and inequalities. “It will be completed in time for initial conclusions to inform 2014/15 allocations.”