15 December 2008

(Additamentum of 20 December 2008 at the end)

The Department of Health has announced the revenue allocations for the 152 primary care trusts in England for 2009/10 and 2010/11. The average increase over the two years for the trusts is 11.4 percent. For Cornwall primary care trust the increase is 12.4 percent and only seven trusts have a higher percentage increase.

This is excellent news for people in our trust area; Cornwall has done very well out of the allocations. Let there be no whingeing or whining, let us be glad.

Additionally, the Advisory Committee for Resource Allocation (ACRA) has now issued a report which covers aspects of NHS funding which have excited lamentation among some in Cornwall. There are two points to note in respect of claims, explored in this post, that Cornwall is short changed on NHS funding.

Firstly, they conclude that “there is still a requirement for a market forces factor component” within NHS funding (paragraph 5.20). The market forces factor reduces Cornwall’s funds against other areas where local costs are higher and will continue to do so. The fairness of this is not a simple issue as my previous post explores.

Secondly, ACRA has looked at the claims of a bias against rural areas in the funding formulas. ACRA has concluded these are “not biased against rural areas” (paragraph 3.41) and has stated that “there is no need for further adjustment for rurality”.

Read the Report of the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation and scrutinise the ACRA arguments for yourself. I find them persuasive.

Additamentum 20 December 2008

Hansard 17 December 2008 column 917W-919W shows the per capita spending by the 152 primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (CIOS) trust comes in at 84th out of the 152 where 1st position represents the highest per capita spend, ie CIOS is at the 45th percentile rank. The expenditure excludes most pharmaceutical services spending: see the notes to original table in Hansard.