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Primary care hit by funding inequality


14 January 2015

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Concerns regarding the inequality of local area funding and a fall in funding for general services have been raised by the Public Accounts Committee.

Its report, Funding Healthcare: Making Allocations to Local Areas,it warned that funding allocations across England were far from fair.

The committee found that primary care funding has suffered, as its share of national funding has fallen from 29% to 23% during 10 years despite the important role it plays in providing health services

Concerns regarding the inequality of local area funding and a fall in funding for general services have been raised by the Public Accounts Committee.

Its report, Funding Healthcare: Making Allocations to Local Areas,it warned that funding allocations across England were far from fair.

The committee found that primary care funding has suffered, as its share of national funding has fallen from 29% to 23% during 10 years despite the important role it plays in providing health services

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA GP committee, said: “Variation in local funding is a longstanding problem which has not been addressed for many years. While the pace of funding improvements for CCGs has been very slow, general practice has been subjected to very rapid and unreasonable funding changes which are having a major impact on some GP practices, especially in rural areas and some areas of significant deprivation, as they lose much needed investment.

“Access to services should not be a postcode lottery, being dependent on the unfair variation in funding for local health services. It's imperative that all areas have the necessary funding to deliver the same quality of services as each other.

“General practice is carrying out 340m consultations a year –up 40m since 2008 –but underinvestment is having a major impact on GPs’ability to cope with rising demand and the growing needs of an ageing population. We cannot continue to meet rising demand with falling investment.”

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