Health bosses hit back

HEALTH bosses have today defended spending in Suffolk after claims from an MP that the county was losing out.The East of East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has spoken out after David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said patients in the county are getting less than the national average cash levels from the government.

HEALTH bosses have today defended spending in Suffolk after claims from an MP that the county was losing out.

The East of East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has spoken out after David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said patients in the county are getting less than the national average cash levels from the government.

The SHA hit back and said Mr Ruffley issued a “scare story” and that the “real story” told a different picture.

Neil McKay, chief executive of the SHA said: “The allocation of NHS resources, in the same way as the allocation of NHS treatment, is according to need so that all kinds of demographic and health-related aspects of the local population are taken into account when allocating funding.

“For instance, Ipswich will get more money than wealthy parts of London. And very poor parts of our region, like Luton, will get more money than Ipswich. This is fair and equitable, based on need not numbers.

“The figures Mr Ruffley uses are unweighted - in other words he is not taking into account the fact that different parts of the country have different health needs.

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“When looked at in this way Suffolk Primary Care Trust is in fact getting 98per cent, virtually all of its properly weighted allocation, not 88pc as described by Mr Ruffley.”

Mr Ruffley said the SHA, which sits between the government at the PCT, is ineffective and has called for its abolition.

Mr McKay said it has helped the PCT, currently £30.9m in debt, stabilise its finances.

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