NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been allocated the extra money by NHS England for its 2014/15 budget. It represents a 2.63% increase on the previous year’s £124.5 million.
Guy Nicholson, Labour’s prospective 2015 General Election candidate for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, said the additional funding “was welcomed by all politicians”.
Labour candidate at the next general election, Guy Nicholson
But he added: “This extra £3.13 million falls short of what is needed to tackle the shocking health problems we are up against – this represents nothing short of a cut to our local NHS service.”
CCG plans and buys healthcare for people in Sheppey, Sittingbourne and surrounding villages.
The budget increase follows NHS England’s move towards awarding extra funds to areas depending on population growth, deprivation and “the impact of an ageing population”.
Dr Fiona Armstrong, chairman of CCG, said the allocation which went “someway to addressing the shortfall in our budget”.
Swale is the third-most deprived district in the county and has an average life expectancy of 79, the lowest of the eight CCG areas.
NHS Swale has been given an extra £3.13m in funding
Among its 106,000 population is an increasing number of elderly people and an above average number of under-fives.
Smoking and obesity are higher than average, and the rate of diabetes is joint highest in Kent along with Thanet.
Mr Nicholson, who was selected as his party’s parliamentary candidate last year, said: “Over a distance of 10 miles between two communities in Sittingbourne and Sheppey, your life expectancy drops by 10 years.
“Alongside our hospitals, our GP service is vital in helping us prevent and fight ill health, and we should be clear and loud with our demands for resources, something the Conservatives in Swale choose not to do.”