Bradford’s frontline healthcare providers have been given a funding boost after the latest budgets from NHS England included an adjustment to reflect health inequalities and areas of deprivation.
The new budgets directly affect the district’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups, Bradford City CCG, Bradford Districts CCG, and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, part of a £65.6 billion national NHS network, as the organisations responsible for designing, buying and contracting local healthcare services.
Under new guidelines adopted by NHS England, all CCGs will receive a minimum 2.14 per cent increase in funding in 2014-15, and a reduced increase of 1.7 per cent in 2015-16.
Despite the three local CCGs only receiving the minimum increase, a ten per cent adjustment in the formula used to allocate funding, designed to reflect any areas of health inequalities and deprivation, will seemingly benefit the district as a whole.
A spokesman for the three CCGs in the Bradford district said: “We are undertaking an assessment of the impact the funding allocations from NHS England will have on our respective strategies, and remain committed to continuing to commission high quality services that meet the needs of local people.”
In 2013-14, the Bradford City CCG received a budget of £113.7 million, equating to £941 per head for its 120,893 patients. In 2014-15, this will increase to £116.1m, or £952 per head, rising to £118.1m in 2015-16, equating to £960 per patient.
At a governing body meeting of Bradford City CCG earlier this month, its chief officer Helen Hirst said the CCG attracted less money as it had both a relatively young population, and a high proportion of people not accessing the healthcare services available.
In a report discussed during the meeting, it was stated that the addition of health inequalities into the funding formula had resulted in a “significantly better outcome than we (City CCG) had feared”.
The 2013-14 budget for the Bradford Districts CCG was £389.9 million, equating to £1,168 per head of its 333,949 patients. This will increase to £398.3m in 2014-15, £1,182 per head, and £405.1m in 2015-16, £1,191 per patient.
Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG received £183.7 million in 2013-14, working out at £1,173 per patient. This will increase to £187.7 million in 2014-15, £1,189 per head, and £190.9 million in 2015-16, or £1,201 per patient. The new budgets will be discussed at a meeting of Bradford Council’s health and wellbeing board next week, chaired by Bradford Council leader David Green.
A report accompanying the figures stated that the risk of the Bradford district facing significant funding cuts had been reduced, with existing levels now being maintained until at least 2015-16.
“Bradford’s primary health care has been historically underfunded, and the original funding formulas placed essential services at risk,” said Coun Green.
“I am delighted that these proposals have been thrown out, but the situation remains serious, and we must make sure that local provision can meet the needs of our population.
“We have won this particular battle, but there is still a war on winning proper healthcare funding for the Bradford district.”