Over a year ago I wrote a column about a new local campaign for fairer health funding in Haringey. We all rely on our vital local GPs, walk-in centres and hospitals – and I wanted to make sure they were getting a fair deal.
It had shockingly come to light that our local health services were severely underfunded in comparison to neighbouring boroughs such as Islington and Camden.
This was having a knock on impact on Haringey residents. The underfunding meant longer waiting times and less preventative care. One local resident went to get a free blood pressure and cholesterol test, offered by the NHS in an Islington supermarket. She was turned away because she had a Haringey postcode.
When I met with Haringey GPs to discuss the problems caused by the underfunding – I heard horror stories about the longer waiting times Haringey residents have to face.
Something had to change. The core of the problem was an outdated funding formula, which discriminated against Haringey because we are an ‘outer London’ borough.
So – with the support of thousands of local residents, the Haringey Liberal Democrats and I lobbied the Department of Health and NHS England for a new funding formula – one that gives boroughs like Haringey a fairer deal on funding.
And in late December, we got some good news – NHS England have finally changed the funding formula, and Haringey health services will now receive a £7.6 million increase in funding.
This is an above inflation increase in funding, and a higher percentage increase than Islington and Camden. There is still a way to go until we get truly fair funding – but this is a great first step! The Haringey Lib Dems and I will keep campaigning to get more money for our vital services.
Now we have some extra funding (and hopefully there will be more to come!) I want to make sure it is spent well, on the health issues that matter most.
That’s why I’ve launched a survey, so residents can let me know what their priorities for improvements are. Whether you want to see longer opening hours, shorter waiting times, better services or something else, just let me know.
Residents can take part in the survey by going to www.tinyurl.com/HaringeyHealth
I look forward to seeing what your priorities are, and passing them on to our local NHS representatives.
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green
Tel: 020 8340 5459
Email: [email protected] or write to me at House of Commons, London SW1A