Sheffield spared cut to health funds

editorial image
Have your say

Sheffield Council has said its ‘concerns have been heard’ after NHS bosses decided against slashing the city’s health budget by £48 million.

The NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s total annual budget was set at £691m last year – but in September The Star reported that this sum could have been cut by 7.6 per cent to just over £642m, sparking anger among councillors.

But instead NHS England has increased the budget by more than two per cent, in line with inflation – which means Sheffield will have roughly the same amount of money to spend in 2014/15.

A further rise of 1.7 per cent follows in 2015/16.

Under government proposals, the way in which funding for health services was worked out was to be changed to give less weight to social deprivation.

This would have meant more money for areas with large numbers of pensioners – but places with younger populations like Sheffield were set to lose out.

John Mothersole, chief executive of Sheffield Council, said: “Along with other partners in Yorkshire we raised our severe concerns earlier this year to plans that would have seen a huge amount of cash pulled out of the NHS in Sheffield.

“It looks like some of our concerns have been heard, at least for now, but we will continue to be vigilant in what are still tough times for services for the public of our city.”

Paul Baumann, chief financial officer for NHS England, said: “This is a very testing period for the NHS and every pound we spend needs to be invested wisely to drive the best outcomes for the patients and communities we serve.

“We now have a funding formula that we think does this more accurately and more fairly.

“A particular challenge is the best way to reflect the needs of the most deprived communities, who may not currently be accessing the services they need at the right time.

“The new formula now includes a measure which aims to address this.”