NHS Workforce and Service Development

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:23 pm on 11th October 2006.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 1:23 pm, 11th October 2006

Not yet; in a moment.

I, too, have a copy of the Conservative party's campaign pack. The Conservatives claim that

"some areas with a low disease burden, but deemed to be socially deprived, receive much more funding than areas deemed to be affluent but with a high burden of disease."

They go on to complain that

"some areas of Manchester receive 66 per cent. more NHS funding per head than some areas of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire".

Let me tell the House about some areas of Manchester—north Manchester, for instance, where a baby is twice as likely to be stillborn and 10 times more likely to die before the age of one as a baby in south-east Hertfordshire or South Cambridgeshire. [ Interruption. ] Mr. Stuart, from a sedentary position, and the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire complain that inequality in infant mortality is widening, but they want to take the money away from areas where infant mortality is worst —[ Interruption ]—north Manchester, where an adult is 50 per cent. more likely to die prematurely of cancer than one in St. Albans, South Cambridgeshire or south Oxfordshire.

In north Manchester, every GP has to look after about 2,500 patients; a GP in South Cambridgeshire has, on average, about half that number. That is why NHS funding this year is £1,600 per person in north Manchester and £1,000 per person in St. Albans, south-east Hertfordshire, South Cambridge and south Oxfordshire.