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NHS: Finance

Health written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of Tom Blenkinsop Tom Blenkinsop Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the importance of deprivation weighting in the public health funding formula.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

This Government have an ambitious vision to help people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives, and to improve the health of the poorest, fastest. From 2013, public health services will be funded by a new ring-fenced grant that will be allocated to upper tier and unitary local authorities to carry out specific public health functions.

The development of the funding formula to support the allocation of public health resources is being overseen by the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA). ACRA’s interim recommendations on the formula were published in June followed by a period of engagement with key national and local stakeholders from both local government and the national health service.

ACRA’s interim formula is based principally on a measure of population health which will be applied to small areas to take account of localised health inequalities within local authority areas. This means that funding is targeted towards those areas with the poorest health outcomes and greatest deprivation. Building up from small areas means the formula can take account of pockets of deprivation in local authorities that otherwise have good health outcomes.

ACRA has used the feedback to finalise its recommendations on the formula to be used for the allocation of the 2013-14 ring-fenced grant to local authorities. These recommendations have now been sent to the Secretary of State for consideration. Full details of their recommendations will be published in due course.

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