Bradford's Labour councillors call for fightback over health funding (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford's Labour councillors call for fightback over health funding
6:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
Labour councillors in the Bradford district want to spearhead a Yorkshire-wide fight against proposed cuts to the region’s health funding.
NHS chiefs plan to change how funding is allocated to cope with the rising costs of caring for older people – more of whom live in the south. They argue the “fair shares formula” will meet the challenges of an ageing population.
It would see Bradford’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) lose more than £12 million, despite having some of the highest levels of need in the country. Across West Yorkshire, the losses would exceed £210 million.
Bradford’s Labour group is now calling for a united regional fightback, saying the changes amount to a shift of health funding from Bradford and other parts of Yorkshire to the south.
A Labour motion to Bradford’s full Council meeting on Wednesday calls on the Council to work with authorities and CCGs across the region to co-ordinate opposition to the plans. The motion also urges Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ensure money goes to places where it is needed most.
Council leader David Green said: “Bradford has some of the highest levels of need in the country, some of the highest rates of premature deaths and a growing population including big increases in the numbers of older people. It defies any kind of logic that we could see cuts to health funding while much wealthier areas benefit from an increase.”
Coun Green said while Bradford would lose out by more than £12 million, Wokingham in Surrey, which has the lowest rates of premature deaths in the country, would gain an equivalent amount. “It’s not just a Bradford issue, it affects all of West Yorkshire and the North and we want to work with others to make our case,” he said.
Conservative leader Councillor Glen Miller said while he opposed cuts to the region’s health funding, he could not believe the Labour group was opposing the changes after deciding themselves to reduce the number of elderly and disabled people entitled to care from social services.
He said: “I would urge them to stop being hypocritical and be honest with themselves and the people of the district.”
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said the Council needed to properly take part in the consultation, rather than turning it into a political row.
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