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12 February 2015

A Healthier Future for the East Midlands?

East Midlands Councils publishes a review of health in the East Midlands The NHS will be of key interest in the run-up to the General Election.A Healthier Future for the East Midlands

All parties have promised to protect NHS funding meaning that planned public  spending cuts will fall disproportionately on other government departments.

The NHS has already been subject to a series of major structural reorganisations – particularly affecting how health services are commissioned. With the latest reforms still bedding down, EMC’s review: “A Healthier Future for the East Midlands?” examines how to deliver better outcomes, more efficiently. In particular, it highlights four priority areas: 

Health Inequalities:

In most aspects, the health of the East Midlands is close to the national average. However, within the East Midlands there are major health inequalities and these are widening across many parts of the region. For example:

    • Men living in the most deprived wards of Derby have 12 years less life expectancy than men in the most prosperous wards.
    • There are high levels of deaths from causes considered preventable particularly in the 3 cities, North Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire and East Lincolnshire.
    • Levels of obesity, smoking and alcohol related admissions to hospital are higher than national levels.
    • Smoking in pregnancy is the major concern with levels significantly higher than the national average - and urgent action is needed to reverse the rising trend. 
    • As a region, we will never meet, or even get near to, national expectations of health unless these disparities are addressed

Funding Inequalities:

The East Midlands is underfunded across its health system.

    • The latest national data (2012-13) shows that total spending on health in the East Midlands is the 2nd lowest in the country. Only the North East received lower levels of funding.
    • CCG Programme Budget Baseline Allocations show that allocations per head for the East Midlands in 2014/15 are lower than the England average.
    • In Northamptonshire, NHS Nene CCG is -6.99% below target and NHS Corby CCG, the worst hit, is underfunded by -£186 per person (-11.32% below target).
    • The NHS Midlands and East area is further below its target allocation than anywhere else in 2014/15, and will continue to be so in 2015/16.

This is not only unjust but it also means that the region is unable to tackle the big issues that we know the health, social care and public health systems face.

Recruitment and Retention:

Given the numbers of GPs set to retire in the next few years, this region faces a crisis in primary care.

    • About 30% of GP training vacancies in this region remain unfilled, against a 99% fill rate in London and a UK average of 90%.
    • The East Midlands has one of the lowest levels in England of full time nurses per head of population (5.2 nurses per 1,000 population compared to an England average of 5.6). 

All parts of public sector in the region need to collaborate to make this region a great place for healthcare workers to train and work – with a priority for increasing the numbers of GPs.

The Need for Collective Leadership:

The challenges facing health are not solely ensuring adequate levels of funding to meet future demand for health and social care – they are also about reform of decision-making and resource allocation to deliver better health outcome at reduced cost. Leaders from across the health and care system, including Councils, the NHS and other stakeholders, must together develop a new model of collective leadership to improve health outcomes.

Cllr Jon Collins, East Midlands Councils’ Chairman, said:

“Too many decisions that affect the health and wellbeing of local communities are taken at the national level. To improve health outcomes of people living in this region, there needs to be a greater devolution of responsibilities to the local level - allowing local decisions makers to better focus resources on specific priorities and challenges.” 

Cllr Roger Begy, Health Review Panel Chairman, said:

We need to build upon the collective work that already exists in parts of the region. The conclusions and recommendations of this review will support further joint work between councils, MPs, the NHS, Public Health England and wider health partners by highlighting how collective leadership can help address the key health challenges for this region.

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, Centre Director, East Midlands (Public Health England), said:               

The East Midlands should be better than average in terms of health – and the current wide variations in health outcomes are unjust. Health agencies and local councils in the East Midlands need to develop a clear statement of the most effective measures to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities in physical and mental health.”

End of text

Notes to Editor

  • East Midlands Councils is the consultative forum for local authorities in the region. It provides support to Councils to improve their services and is a strong voice for the East Midlands.
  • The Report: ‘A Healthier Future for the East Midlands?’ is being launched at the full meeting of EMC, taking place at the offices of Nottinghamshire County Council in West Bridgford on 13 February 2015. The full report is available by clicking on the picture above or by clicking here to visit the 'Health and Social Care' pages of EMC's website.


For further information please contact:

Stuart Young

Executive Director

East Midlands Councils

01664 502630/07771 966905



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