Newcastle North MP concerned that funding shortfall could send local NHS backwards

Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, has expressed her concerns that recent figures on the funding shortfall facing the NHS in England could see health services in Newcastle start to go backwards.

Catherine said:

“With the NHS already showing signs of strains, a combination of inflation forecasts and the ‘double counting’ of social care funding means the NHS in England is set to see a £1.2 billion shortfall in the next financial year. Cuts to health funding were not what people expected when David Cameron promised to protect the NHS, and this shortfall in funding could add pressure on our local health service.

“I am anxious about what this real-terms cut will mean for patients in my constituency, and have written to the Chief Executive of NHS North of Tyne asking for answers on the impact this could have on the NHS in Newcastle, including for patient care and frontline jobs.

“Of course, this financial pressure also comes at a time when the Tory-led Coalition is spending up to £3billion on a rushed restructure of our local health services – plans which I believe will fundamentally alter the NHS as we know and love it, and will dangerously undermine the basic principles on which the NHS was founded by Labour in 1948.”

Notes:

1. Figures published by the Government’s Office of Budget Responsibility have revealed that forecast inflation of 2.5% for next year will outweigh the previously proposed 2.0% increase in health spending for the NHS in England, leading to a £0.5 billion cut.

2. The Government’s ‘double counting’ of social care funding in both the NHS England and local government budgets has left the NHS in England with a further cut of £700m.