Clause 7 - Funding of strategic health authorities

Part of NHS Reform and Health Care – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 29th November 2001.

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Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon 10:45 am, 29th November 2001

I am not sure what the Minister means by an entirely equitable and similar basis. My understanding is that a performance fund is a top-slice held centrally, rather than being dispersed in the weighted capitation allocations; perhaps the Minister will clarify that. If a performance fund is allocated to reward what the Government judge as good performance, it might be allocated according to the normal weighted capitation allocation formula. If it is allocated more variably to those trusts, in the case of PCTs, that the Government deem to be better performers, that funding will not be available to be allocated equitably—using that word to support my own argument—through weighted capitation allocations.

The money in the allocations is shifted towards those that are below target. I am not complaining about that, but I am concerned that the allocation of funding, however small or large, solely on the Government's judgment of performance is likely to be more politically motivated than clinically motivated and is, in any event, likely to relate significantly, if not entirely, to the resources of the PCT.