Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire 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.
The substantial underfunding experienced by the CCG is caused by the funding formula used to calculate need in any given area. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is the third lowest funded CCG in England, receiving significantly less funding per head of population than all neighbouring counties. Whilst the formula seeks to distribute funding in a fair way according to need, it has typically been unable to respond quickly to the demands of a rapidly growing local population. Cambridgeshire, which has seen its population growth rocket over the past five years has therefore experienced a shortfall in per patient funding causing a cumulative shortfall over the past five years.
Heidi highlighted the impact of this shortfall on local services citing delays, treatment refusals and long wait times as the consequence of the allocation shortfall. Heidi said “The CCG has to reduce its’ spend outside of Hospitals by £33m this year; that means significant cuts to community care…every single one of our major out of hospital care services is now under review.”
Speaking during the debate, both Heidi and Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, challenged the Minister on the impact of historical underfunding. In response minister Stephen Hammond said, “Historically, my honourable friends are right to point out that their CCG has seen funding that is not equivalent to local areas, and the historic funding disparity is now being improved and moving back towards the targets for CCGs over the next two or three years.”
However, Heidi further raised the issue of exceptional funding arguing that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were suffering unmet need now as a result of historic allocation and pressed the Minister for ‘a commitment to an early review to the funding allocation and immediate emergency extra funding”. Mr Hammond agreed to meet with Mrs Allen and the CCG’s chief executive Jan Thomas to go through the financials in more detail.
The Minister responded stating “there has been a number of difficult, historic and inter-locking factors facing the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG. NHS England is committed to bringing all CCGs up to target as soon as possible.”
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG welcomed news of the debate and said – “We would like to thank Heidi Allen, MP for raising the challenges that we face in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It is vital we secure appropriate health funding to allow us to deliver good quality care to the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”
You can watch the debate, led by Mrs Allen, following this link: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/605c6960-d7f2-44a7-a9ab-51af8e3f4f1a?in=16:00:11&out=16:23:56