Wide variations in NHS spending may be denying patients fair access to drugs and treatment.
The King’s Fund think tank found that some English trusts spent four times as much on certain diseases than others.
The research by the health think-tank looked at spending by 303 primary care trusts (PCTs), which are responsible for 80% of the NHS budget and fund hospital, GP and community treatment.
The report said there were differences in spending which only appeared to be “partially explained” by need and therefore raised questions over whether spending variations were having “adverse effects on equity and efficiency.”
Cancer Backup chief executive Joanne Rule said: “What people will want to know after seeing this research is, will I receive good cancer care in my area if I need it?”
That is certainly what I would ask.
Here comes the spin. Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: “The healthcare priorities of the people of Brighton will be different to the priorities of those living in Bradford.”
Um, no. Their health care priorities are the precisely same — to have access to the best health care (including the most appropriate and effective medicines) when and where required.
That being said, today’s award for bureaucratic health care doublespeak goes to Health Minister Lord Warner who clarified the situation by stating that, “Some variations in spending across the country are to be expected as people respond to the different needs of local communities.”
Good Lord, Lord Warner! You are Britain’s answer to Casey Stengel!
And in the words of the ‘Ol Perfessor,
“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.”