Report claims area was paid too much for GP and hospital services...but did not get enough for other services

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Statistics released by the Government have suggested that this area received too much funding for GPs and hospitals last year.

The picture as a whole, however, is confused by the fact that Lincolnshire County Council is said to have had £1.5 million less than it’s fair share.

According to a Committee of Public Accounts report published this month, NHS England allocated £1,258 per person for to the Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group, which deals with hospital, community and mental health services around Boston, in 2013/14.

According to the report, this was £40, or 3.3 per cent, more per head than what they are supposed to get.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire East CCG said the group was set to discuss the figures today (Thursday) at its governing body meeting.

However, retired Pilgrim Hospital Doctor Cyril Nyman, who supports the Standard’s hospital campaign said he believes the area still needs more money per head.

He said: “There is not enough money from the Government now or in the past particularly for Lincolnshire.

“When I came here in 1979 the District Health Authority and the Regional Health Authority - as the management structure then was - did not have enough money to run the services.

“They were very keen for me to buy equipment from my charities for the service and they would pay to run the service; that worked very well. Now they want the equipment purchased and the running costs provided. That is absurd.”

Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital has been struggling to cope with the number of patients attending during the 
winter period.

It was forced to go into ‘black alert’ due to the strain, and elderly patients were moved across the county to Lincoln and Grantham to help cope.

Staff were also asked to returnfrom annual leave to help deal with the numbers.

Lincolnshire County Council, which deals with public health on the other hand got £39 per head, five per cent (£2) less than it should have from the Government’s Department 
for Health, according to the report.

The executive member for public health Coun Patricia Bradwell said the figures meant the county was missing out on about £1.5 million a year.

She said: “It is very disappointing to see that Lincolnshire County Council has been awarded five per cent less than our fair share.

“We could do a lot more preventative work helping people stay healthy with 
that sum.

“If the redistribution of funding continues at the current pace then it could be decades before Lincolnshire is funded properly – that is simply too long.”

She said the funding formula used by NHS England and Public Health Englandfails to take into account the costs and challenges related to providing health services in rural areas.

She argued that the City of London is getting £185 per person.

“That’s £156 per person more than their fair share,” she said.

The report said NHS England gives Leicestershire and Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust £203 per person, – £1 (0.6 per cent), less than it should.

According to the report, around two-fifths of clinical commissioning groups and three-quarters of local authorities nationally are receiving more than five per cent above or below their target.

It warns that this could have consequences for financial sustainability.

The report states reasons for the inequalities as including inaccuracies of GP list data – for example when people move into an area and don’t register or move out and forget to remove themselves.