New funding for primary care trusts (PCTs) in England – aimed at the most deprived areas – may not be enough, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) has said.
The CPHVA is concerned that the £135 billion - announced by the Health Secretary, John Reid - for the PCTs over the financial years 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 may be swallowed up in creating and supporting the services to tackle killer diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
But the CPHVA is not sure whether there will be sufficient funding after 2008 to keep up the momentum once the new services in the most disadvantaged have been established.
The CPHVA Lead Professional Officer (Health Visiting), Obi Amadi said: ‘We are pleased that this very significant boost to PCT funding will assist deprived areas in providing services. However, my concern is that, while so many changes are currently occurring in primary care, the extra funding will be used up on introducing the changes, rather than addressing future public health needs.’
‘Will this level of generous funding continue after 2008? Primary care has suffered in the past with so much attention and funding being directed into acute care at the expense of the community arena.’
The government said that three years ago PCTs had an average of £907 per head funding for patients. The latest announcement brings the average for England up to £1,388 per patient and about £1,710 for the areas of greatest need.