Positive progress as Heidi Allen MP secures the Government’s acknowledgement of Cambridgeshire’s underfunded health service

The Government has today acknowledged Cambridgeshire’s historic health underfunding during a meeting chaired by Heidi Allen MP with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG’s Accountable Officer Jan Thomas and Health Minister, Stephen Hammond. Heidi recently led a Westminster Hall debate calling for urgent additional health funding for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Heidi, who secured the debate, wanted to raise awareness of the chronic funding shortfall that affects local health services provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG (CPCCG) and the impact this has on local residents and patients.

Following the debate, Minister Stephen Hammond agreed to meet with Heidi and the CCG, to discuss the reasons behind the county’s substantial underfunding.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is the third lowest funded CCG in England, receiving significantly less funding per head of population than all neighbouring counties. NHS England’s funding formula seeks to distribute funding in a fair way according to need, however recent allocations have seen Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s distance from target (DFT) deteriorate further whilst other over funded CCG’s have received an increase in funding.

The Minister acknowledged the formula’s inability to respond quickly enough to the demands of a rapidly growing local population and that the county had been underfunded for some time. Following detailed discussion, Mr Hammond committed to work with the CCG and NHS England to look again at ways to correct the historical underfunding and ensure future growth projections better reflect actual growth, thus reducing the mismatch with per patient funding allocations.

Heidi said “Despite the complexity of the funding formula, the Minister acknowledged growth projection figures and the lag on funding are significantly impacting on allocations for health services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The Minister was receptive to the concerns raised and so we look forward to the outcome of his subsequent discussions with Health England and a positive change in future allocations. Without it, our CCG will be forced to make further tough decisions about how it funds local services – something nobody wants to see.”

Jan Thomas, Accountable Officer of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We were grateful to have this opportunity to discuss these important issues with the Minister. The NHS in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is underfunded and we are asking for this to be reviewed. We are grateful for the support of all our local political representatives and will continue campaigning with them for the fairer funding for the NHS in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”