Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock says city’s health funding shortfall is ‘ludicrous’

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
Clockwise from top left: Cowplain Village Practice, Queens Road Surgery in Portsmouth and Lee-on-the-Solent Medical Centre. Pictures: Google Maps

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A SHORTFALL in health money that is supposed to be given to Portsmouth has been criticised.

According to the Department of Health’s funding formula, the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should get £1,120 for each resident.

But a report by the National Audit Office out today has revealed the CCG has been getting £19 – 1.6 per cent – less than this.

The figures relate to the current financial year.

The shortfall has been branded as ‘ludicrous’ by Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock.

He said: ‘I’m disappointed with this and will be raising it with the health minister.

‘It’s ludicrous this is happening as it means the CCG is losing millions of pounds.

‘That money could be well spent here and absorbed into the system quickly by various departments. It could provide more mental health services, hospital care, improvements to services, plus bringing new services in.’

In total the CCG got £248m in funding from central government in 2013-14, with half of that going towards hospital care.

The report also shows how much money councils were given, as they are now in charge of delivering public health locally.

Portsmouth City Council got £77 per person – a £9 or 13.7 per cent increase – in what it should be getting.

However Mr Hancock said this money is justifiable and much-needed.

He added: ‘I don’t have a problem with that because we have a lot of issues to tackle in Portsmouth and the money is put to good use.

‘We have a lot of elderly people that need help with conditions like dementia.

There is alcohol and drug abuse, and we need to continue the work we are doing to tackle this.’

The Department of the Health said money is given to authorities based on historic allocations, and is making gradual changes – either giving more or less – as necessary so the impact is more subtle.

Dr Janet Maxwell, director of public health for Portsmouth, said ‘Our funding allocation will remain the same for 2015/16 as it was for 2014/15. We will also be investing in preventative initiatives which help residents to adopt healthier lifestyles in the longer term.’

Gap in cash is being addressed as soon as it can be

MILLIONS of pounds of healthcare money is still not being given to trusts to improve services in the area.

The Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should get £1,005 for each resident.

But it has been getting £913 – £92, or 8.4 per cent less than this.

And the South Eastern Hampshire CCG, which covers the Havant area is getting £101 less than its supposed allocation of £1,004.

Andy Wood, chief finance officer for South East Hampshire and Fareham and Gosport CCGs, said: ‘The amount of money each area should receive is set nationally, and until recently that reflected the levels of funding which had been allocated in the past.

‘Many of us have been arguing strongly for a change so we received a fairer share of the national funding, based on the needs of our population.

‘We’re pleased this system has changed, and receiving a larger share of funding each year, but that process may not take place as quickly as we wish.’