HEALTH SPENDING RISES IN WORCESTERSHIRE
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HEALTH SPENDING RISES IN WORCESTERSHIRE

Spending on the NHS is set to rise in the next financial year. That is the unequivocal guarantee of Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff after reports in the local media that there would be £40 million in cuts.

Peter explained,

“In fact, the budget will rise by 2.3% or about £20 million from £878 million in the financial year just ending to around £898 million in the year beginning April.

“The complication is that the structure of the services is being changed and the money will be distributed through different organisations. On top of that, the NHS is being asked to achieve efficiency savings to reinvest in improved services.

“Yes, this means some services will change but it would be very wrong to describe these changes as cuts – overall more will be spent on the NHS and more services will be delivered to patients. That is what matters to people who are ill or who have had an accident. Budgets are not being “slashed” as some lurid reports have suggested – efficiency savings will all be reinvested in the NHS.”

In the year 2013-14 the higher sum will be distributed largely by the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), of which there will be three in Worcestershire, but also by the County Council on public health and by the new NHS National Commissioning Board on primary care and specialised services.

In addition to primary care, specialised services and public health, the money will be spent by the CCGs on services commissioned from the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust and from the Acute Hospitals Trust.

The NHS is also being asked to become more efficient in its delivery of services to enable the savings to be reinvested in improved health care.

As the government’s auditor, the National Audit Office, said in December last year in a report, “Progress in making NHS efficiency savings”,

“After a decade of sustained and significant growth, spending on the NHS is planned to increase by an average of 0.1 per cent in real terms in the four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15. At the same time, the NHS faces continuing growth in the demand for healthcare, due in part to the ageing population and advances in drugs and technology.

“The Department of Health (the Department) has estimated that, to keep pace with demand and live within its tighter means, the NHS must make recurrent efficiency savings of up to £20 billion over the four-year period. This is equivalent to year-on year efficiency savings of 4 per cent, or a cumulative saving of about 17 per cent. The Department expects the NHS to reinvest the savings to meet the demand for healthcare.”

Peter concluded,

“Although the way some health services are delivered will change, and although there will be some things we do less of to reflect changing needs, overall more money will be spent more efficiently on more services in the NHS locally. This means a healthier NHS, spending more and doing more for patients, not cuts.”

Ends

Note to editors

The sums involved are:

Clinical Commissioning Groups – £617 million
Worcestershire County Council - £24 million
NHS National Commissioning Board –£250 million (approx)
Some further sums will go to other national bodies such as Public Health England


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