Headlines: November 12th, 1998

The Health Minister Alan Milburn has announced a three year freeze on change to the funding formulas of health authorities and primary care groups while the method of funding is reviewed.Under cover of the funding programme announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, which gives health providers some certainty about their forthcoming budgets, work will take place to find a fairer formula for funding the future NHS.

Significantly, this review will take place alongside a period of research into local government finance resource allocation. The Department of Health and the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions say they will share information and analysis where this is fruitful.

Mr Milburn said: “There have been growing concerns about how well the existing formula matches NHS cash to health need. The healthcare needs of populations must be the driving force in determining where cash goes. Thanks to the Comprehensive Spending Review, the NHS knows its resources for the next 3 years. There will now be a freeze on further changes to the existing formula to maximise stability and certainty for Health Authorities and Primary Care Groups while allowing a wide ranging review to take place.”