26 November 2007

The House of Commons health committee has this month received a deal of information from the Department of Health about NHS spending. The News of the world has put some of the various data together and produced a league table of percapita spending on cancer patients by the primary care trusts.

For Cornwall the news appears appalling according to these figures.

The average percapita spending on cancer patients for England is £8 437 per year for 2006/07.

For Cornwall it is £5 749, one of the very lowest amounts, 149th out of 152 trusts.

The highest spend is £17 028 in Nottingham, the city not the county.

I don’t suppose there is a simple correlation between percapita spending and outcome, that is survival, but it is reasonable to ask whether the level of spending affects the nature of one’s access to drugs and treatment and one’s survival. I think Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS primary care trust should explain their spending level.

The figures are here. The bottom internet reference gives the spend per patient.

This 2006 paper from the King’s Fund, Local variations in NHS spending priorities, gives an informative background and analysis to this and related issues.