LOCAL GP and Chair of the Tower Hamlets Local Medical Committee (LMC) Dr Jackie Applebee has written a letter to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, protesting against government cuts in funding of Tower Hamlets NHS. She is now asking all NHS workers in the borough and local patients to add their names. As everyone who lives and works in Tower Hamlets is an NHS patient, or a potential patient, that means that everyone can sign the letter. The letter is printed below. If you would like to add your name, please email the below address saying “please add my name to the letter to Jeremy Hunt MP” and follow this with your name:
Tower Hamlets CCG Funding Shortfall Open Letter
Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health
Simon Stevens Chief Executive of NHS England
Dear Mr Hunt and Mr Stevens,
We work in General Practice in Tower Hamlets and wish to express our dismay with respect to the inadequate funding provided to our CCG with which to provide health care for the population of the borough.
We are shocked, that in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, with one of the fastest growing populations, that the per capita allocation for Tower Hamlets in 2017/18 is £1117.00, while the London average is £1287.00 and the England average £1296.00. We even fall way below the average for our STP, North East London, which averages at £1241.00.
Our population has grown by over 12.38% in the last four years while our allocation has increased by only 8.78%, meaning that our CCG has £12.5million less than it did five years ago. This is compounded by the fact that increases in population are not reflected in the allocation for two years meaning that we are looking after far more people than we are paid for. In addition our population is very mobile meaning that many do not register with a GP, again skewing our population figures downwards.
We know that we are not alone in struggling to provide the health care that our population needs and deserves. We know that all over England the NHS, both primary and secondary care, is teetering on the brink of collapse, often only kept going by the goodwill of staff who go the extra mile due to dedication to the job.
This situation is not necessary.
We are the fifth richest country in the world and yet we have fewer doctors and nurses than the OECD average and fewer hospital beds. Despite this our NHS is the most cost effective health care system in the developed world,
Though our lead has slipped since 2014 (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror) as austerity has bitten.
We are not asking simply for the formula to be re-designed to reflect deprivation and population mobility, though we do think that these factors are not weighted heavily enough. We do not wish to rob Peter to pay Paul.
The Government can afford to adequately fund our NHS and should do so. Patients should be able to trust that health workers are making decisions based on clinical need not on financial pressures.
Our publicly funded, publicly provided NHS, free at the point of delivery, is the envy of the world and was the number one issue in the last General Election.
The future of the NHS is in your hands, you will not be forgiven if you destroy it.