MPs Join Sarah's Call on Rotherham Health Cuts

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Earlier this year, Sarah revealed that the Government were considering a potential cut of £20.9m to the budget of Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The deficit would come about if a proposed new formula for calculating local allocations is adopted. Thanks to recent questioning of Ministers by Sarah, it has been discovered that Rotherham is only one of a number of areas with higher than average levels of deprivation, that would face huge cuts as a result of the new formula. All four CCGs in South Yorkshire will face losses, as will dozens of other urban and industrial areas. Many of the gainers under the new regime are wealthier areas in the South and South East of the country.

Fellow Rotherham MPs John Healey and Kevin Barron, have joined forces with Sarah in writing to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, drawing attention to this fundamentally unfair outcome. The joint letter argues that the proposals would contradict the legal duty of the NHS to address health inequalities that Mr Hunt had outlined earlier in the year.

The MPs state that the new formula ..would mean that areas containing those who live the longest (i.e. the healthiest people) would stand to benefit, whereas those areas where people have a lower life expectancy due to poor health, would be penalised.

The letter concludes by urging the Secretary of State to take steps to ensure this new formula is not adopted. A decision is expected later this year.

CCGs were established by the Coalition Government to replace Primary Care Trusts. Rotherham CCG was established in January 2011 and now oversees a £330m budget. It is responsible for commissioning all of the community health services, hospital health services, health aspects of social and continuing care, GP prescribing and GP out-of-hours services that Rotherham people use. A cut of £20m is roughly the equivalent of losing 500 nurses.