Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of an extra £20 billion a year for health services, West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has pressed the Health Secretary to ensure the NHS in the South West receives the same level of funding as the rest of the country.
Earlier this week Theresa May said the Government had a 10-year plan for the NHS to ensure that UK patients enjoyed “world-class health care” - with more doctors, more nurses. It means extra money - significantly more money going into the NHS.
The 3.4% annual rise in NHS spending will be paid for partly by a ‘Brexit dividend’ and partly by tax rises.
In a debate in Westminster on the NHS Long-Term Plan on Monday, Mr Thomas asked Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt “to look again at how funding is distributed, and ensure that as it increases, it is increased fairly”.
Mr Hunt responded by agreeing to look at the issue: “These matters are now decided at arm’s length by NHS England because we think that the fairest way is to take the politics out of it,” he said. “But I am happy to work with him to engage with NHS England on the Cornish questions.”
“NHS England’s own figures show that the growth in health funding in the southwest has been 2.2% less than the national average,” said Mr Thomas, speaking after the debate.
“Nationally, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country received an extra 11.2 per cent in funding between 2013/14 and 2016/17 but in the South West, the increase was just 9 per cent.
“The South West has an older demographic than the rest of the country and independent research demonstrates that it costs more to provide healthcare in an ageing population.
“I was very happy to raise the issue that health authorities in the South West should not be left at a disadvantage compared to other authorities when it comes to receiving this welcome extra funding.”