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Health Expenditure (Manchester)

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd February 2005.

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Photo of Mr Keith Bradley Mr Keith Bradley Labour, Manchester, Withington 11:30 am, 22nd February 2005

If he will make a statement on the effects of using the results of the 2001 census on health expenditure in the city of Manchester.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

Revenue funding has been allocated to primary care trusts using the 2001 census since 2003. For the 2006–07 and 2007–08 allocations, population data have been revised to take account of undercounting and projected increases in populations. As a consequence, Central Manchester PCT, North Manchester PCT and South Manchester PCT will receive increases of 26.4, 21.7 and 28.2 per cent. respectively, compared with a national average increase for all PCTs of 19.5 per cent. for the same period.

Photo of Mr Keith Bradley Mr Keith Bradley Labour, Manchester, Withington

I am grateful for that answer. The people of Manchester hugely welcome the incredibly large increases for the three PCTs, although they were concerned about the population base because of the Office for National Statistics failing to count the people of Manchester properly and missing out 20,000 people who required health care in the city. I clearly welcome the fact that my right hon. Friend has now made the adjustment to that baseline figure. Can he confirm that any shortfall in previous years' budgets that is due to that failure will be properly reflected in the budget allocations for future years?

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

Yes, I can give my right hon. Friend the absolute assurance that that will be so, using the data for the allocations for 2006–07 and 2007–08. He might also be interested to know, as might my other hon. Friends who represent Manchester, that, in addition to those resources, we have put into the baseline budgets for all the Manchester PCTs £20 million of capacity building resources. That was included originally in 2003 on a non-recurrent basis. Essentially, that means that an additional £8 million has gone into the baseline budget of the Manchester PCTs.

Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Manchester, Blackley

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer, or at least I think I am. Can he confirm that his answer on the budget for the Manchester PCTs from 2007 onwards—he says he will adjust the baseline—is in contradiction to the letter that he sent me about three weeks ago, in which he said that he would not change the baseline? If it is, I welcome it; if not, I look forward to continuing the discussion with him on Friday afternoon in the Adjournment debate.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

We have not retrospectively adjusted the PCTs' budgets in relation to the undercount that my right hon. Friend Mr. Bradley referred to earlier. What we have done, as he asked me to confirm, is put right that undercounting for 2006–07 and 2007–08. That has informed the revenue allocations for the Manchester PCTs for 2006–07 and 2007–08.

Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Labour, Manchester Central

My right hon. Friend will be aware that people in Manchester are genuinely very grateful and that they recognise the enormous amounts of money that this Government are putting into health generally, but will he reflect on the fact that we in Manchester still face some of the most entrenched problems of health inequality? My constituents, like those of my Manchester colleagues, will die younger than others and be sicker for large parts of their life. In that context, it is difficult for us to accept that, because of a failure of the ONS, moneys were withdrawn and will not be replaced. Will he seriously consider whether that is fair to a population who are, by all accounts, deprived in health terms?

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

I can only say to my hon. Friend that Manchester PCTs are getting some of the biggest increases in resources that they have ever had. That is because of the additional resources that are available to the NHS and because we have also targeted additional resources on Manchester to deal precisely with the concerns that he has raised about the health inequalities gap, which separates Manchester from the rest of the country. It is true that a baby boy born in Manchester today will live seven years less than a baby boy born in Dorset. That is totally unacceptable. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is making £500 million of additional investment available this year to provide support in respect of the problems to which my hon. Friend rightly draws attention.