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An email from Lynne Featherstone
Last week I made a shocking discovery.
Haringey patients have to wait longer, and don’t have the same access to health services as patients in boroughs such as Islington and Camden. This is due to a historic funding inequality – where ‘inner’ London boroughs receive more money for health services than ‘outer’ boroughs.
So, despite the fact that Haringey has considerable health inequalities, the borough receives less funding. I became fully aware of this last week, when I met with a group of Health professionals. One GP told me an awful story - he contacted a hospice on behalf of a patient, and the hospice asked for the patient’s postcode. The hospice was reluctant to pick up a patient from a poorly funded borough.
In this day and age, where people have a greater choice about where they seek treatment and many commuters are treated outside their borough of residence, it is nonsense for health funding to be based on a postcode lottery. It is clear to me that a new funding formula, which recognises and addresses the current inequalities, is urgently needed.
After 40 years, Labour-run Haringey Council has shown no signs of addressing this issue. I am therefore stepping in to campaign for fairer health funding. I have already written a letter to the new Secretary of State for Health, requesting that he meet with GPs and health professionals, and listen to their evidence.
As you may know – I have long campaigned for fairer funding for Haringey schools, and significant progress has been made. But I will need your help to win the fairer health funding campaign. Please sign my petition now at www.campaigns.libdems.org.uk/fairerhealthfunding to show your support for this campaign.
Lynne Featherstone MP
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey & Wood Green