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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Watchdog criticises unequal distribution of NHS funding

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 15 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:130
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    A report by independent NHS inspectors has highlighted glaring inequalities in health between rich and poor areas in England and Wales and criticises the low numbers of GPs in deprived areas, which might be expected to need doctors most.

    The Healthcare Commission, which has taken over the inspection role of the Commission for Health Improvement, said that the most deprived communities were still not being funded in line with their needs, despite a government formula designed to do just that.

    Inspectors found that the 2002 formula for assessing health needs—the PCT [primary care trust] revenue resource limits—was not being phased in quickly enough because the government feared the reaction from affluent areas as funds were withdrawn and redistributed to poorer districts.

    For historical reasons, Easington Primary Care Trust, County …

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