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Outrage over health spending cuts

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WIGAN faces huge health spending cuts while wealthy areas in the south stand to profit, shock new figures reveal.

Research by the constituency office staff of Makerfield’s MP Yvonne Fovargue shows the town stands to LOSE more than £10m or £31 for every man, woman and child while the affluent borough of Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead will GAIN £16m or £136 for every person within its boundary.

Now Ms Fovargue has written to the country’s NHS chief slamming the Government’s latest cuts and demanding a u-turn.

On December 17, the board of NHS England will decide how much money Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will receive to fund healthcare for their population. This money is used to pay for emergency and elective hospital care as well as mental health services, community nursing or NHS Walk-in Centres.

Wigan’s current spending allocation is £1,288 per head or a total of £407.3m, while Windsor gets £1,001 per head or a total of £144.4m.

Ms Fovargue has laid the blame for the changes squarely at the feet of former Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley who scrapped rules designed to help eradicate health inequalities between former heavy industrial areas and leafy suburbs.

The Makerfield MP has now written to the chief executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, urging him to retain and strengthen the existing health inequalities formula and weighting which have supported Wigan in the past.

She said: “These proposals are nothing short of immoral; diverting NHS funding from poor health areas, with high levels of health need, to areas of good health.

“This will increase and ingrain health inequalities in Wigan and is further proof that you can’t trust David Cameron with the National Health Service.”

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham – the Leigh MP – is leading Labour’s national campaign against the changes which he describes as “immoral”.

Mr Burnham said: “It is nothing short of immoral to raid areas with the greatest health needs only to hand their money to places where life expectancy is already the longest.

“People in the areas most affected are already taking a battering from this out-of-touch Government and simply can’t afford this change. Labour will stand up for them and oppose this outrageous raid. My message to David Cameron is simple: hands off Leigh’s NHS funding.

“I am calling on NHS England to abandon this unfair and ill-conceived plan which could seriously destabilise NHS services.”

Wigan Borough CCG decline to comment.

 

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