PCTs to get 5.5% increase in funding
By Steve Nowottny
PCTs will receive £164bn funding for 2009/10 and 2010/11, an average increase of 5.5% over both years.
The Government announced the increase as part of a shakeup of PCT funding which includes the use of a ‘new, more technically robust formula' and a separate formula for health inequalities to help target areas with the worst health outcomes.
But the plans were attacked by the Conservatives, who said PCT spending increases would be outstripped by a 6% increase in Department of Health resource budgets.
Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘NHS money should be getting to the frontline so that our health service can deliver the best quality care for patients.'
‘It's disturbing that the Department of Health is instead holding it back centrally for top-down, politically-motivated programmes.'
And the BMA called for the NHS's £2.1bn surplus to be ploughed back into frontline care.
Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA's Consultants Committee, said: 'This money should not be clawed back by the Treasury, or wasted on poor-value contracts with commercial providers. It should be reinvested in NHS facilities to drive up further improvements in the quality of care.'
David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's PCT Network, said: 'The good news here is that the average increase for PCTs across the NHS is 11.3% over the next two years. This comes against a backdrop of economic difficulties and NHS leaders understand the increased responsibility they have to deliver good value for money.'
'Within that settlement some PCTs are getting a greater level of growth than others but that is an inevitable consequence of a policy which seeks to match funding to need. However some PCTs with marked health inequalities seem to be faring less well in this settlement than in other years. The effect of this will need to be watched closely over this funding period.'