A few months ago, I wrote a couple of blogs exploring the social justice issue that is the vast difference between the health spend in the North, compared to the South.
This week a graph was produced by HM Treasury to show how overall spending has changed across England since 2012. Here is the evidence:
So, in the North, we already have the worst health outcomes in England with an underspend of around £800m per year, per head of population, compared to the South. Yet, over the last 5 years we have seen further disinvestment here at a time when we’re also being asked to make substantial savings! Why the Northern MPs do not seem to think this is worth making much noise about, I’m not quite sure. This is an economic issue, a political issue, a social justice issue and a humanitarian issue. As I take the conversation to our public about the difficult choices ahead of us, here in Morecambe Bay and Lancashire over the coming months, I wonder what the response to this information might be?
Following on from my blog earlier this week, I want to be really clear in what I am saying!
- The funding formula used in health and social care is weighted towards the wealthy and the well…therefore the north is worse off compared to the south…
- We are already at a major deficit in terms of health outcomes, in the north
- The cuts affecting northern county councils were deeper and harder – both in terms of public health and social services, with a profound knock on effect to the NHS – therefore the further ‘efficiency savings’ being requested of us have an even more detrimental effect
- The actual investment from the government as shown by the King’s fund is not 8-10billion as promised, but only 4.5billion
- If you take into account economic growth, inflation and population need, the ‘investment’ is actually a disinvestment…..
- On top of this is the fact, shown through HEE (Health Education England) that the NW in particular has a massively reduced investment in recruitment compared to other areas, which flies in the face of what the Nuffield Trust and King’s Fund have shown is needed in areas of higher deprivation and worse health outcomes
- Even if we save the £560m we’re being asked to as an STP, our deficit at 2021 is £804m
My argument is this: if the correct investment was made, the formula wasn’t weighted against us and we therefore received the correct allocation of resource according to the task ahead of us, we would actually probably be in surplus and could really make a difference – we are already doing loads of great stuff, but asking us to make bricks with no straw is beyond the pale.…..as it is, what we’re being asked to do may affect the health and wellbeing of our population negatively because we are already at such a deficit, before we start….
This is not a political issue – this IS a Social Justice issue.