Deprived areas in England will 'lose out' in NHS reforms

Deprived areas in England will lose out to affluent parts of the country under health spending reforms, Labour has claimed.

Changes to funding formulas means poor health rates will be given less consideration when cash is allocated, the party said.

It suggested areas like Manchester and the London borough of Tower Hamlets would lose out to parts of the wealthy south east, such as Surrey and Hampshire.

Labour based the claims on an assessment of funding reforms by public health bodies in Manchester.

But the government has disputed the allegations and claimed Labour's figures were misleading.

Department of Health officials said primary care budgets in Surrey and Tower Hamlets would go up by a similar amount this year.

The Conservatives claimed every area would have suffered health funding cuts under Labour.

A Conservative party spokesman said: "This is yet another own goal from Labour. If they had won the last election, the NHS would now be being cut by £28billion across the country. Every area would have seen spending on the NHS cut - as it is in Labour-run Wales.

"This Government is increasing spending on the NHS in real terms over this parliament, and every region of the country will receive more money as a result of this investment."