Havering in line for NHS windfall, study says
PUBLISHED: 15:41 30 May 2012
NHS services in Havering could be in line for a £29million windfall if Government plans to give more cash to areas with older residents go ahead, claims an expert.
The borough, which has one of the oldest populations in London, would get an extra £119 per head according to a report released by Durham University.
But nearby boroughs, including Barking and Dagenham, could suffer massive funding losses.
Dagenham and Rainham MP John Cruddas said a “balance” should be struck between age and other factors like life expectancy.
He said: “Even though Havering would benefit, the move would be catastrophic for my constituents in Barking and Dagenham, where people are much younger.
“My focus is taking the pressure of Queen’s Hospital with new care centres and polyclinics.”
Mr Cruddas said he is investigating the impact the funding changes would have in the area.
The Department of Health insists other factors will be taken into account when giving money to primary care trusts.
A spokesman said: “The Secretary of State is not suggesting that deprivation shouldn’t be part of the future funding formula - just that age should continue to be the primary factor.
“We are making sure that funding is given to areas that need it most.”
The professor who conducted the report, Clare Bambra, said focusing on age would benefit “the least needy, most affluent, and most elderly areas”.
She also suggested the areas benefiting were more likely to vote Conservative.
A NHS North East London and the City spokesman said the trust also believes the figures are inaccurate.
He added: “This funding is set centrally by the department of health and is based on a range of things such as age and deprivation.
“We will continue to work within the funds available to provide the best health services we can for our local people.”
The average age in Havering is 38.9, compared to the London average of 35.8 and only 34.7 in Barking and Dagenham.