This is a response to ' A formula for Unfairness' article.
The stated intention and hence choice of method for derivation of the needs formulae relate to 'equal access for equal need'. I do not therefore understand Sheena Asthana's argument that the formula relates more to health equity than healthcare equity (and therefore is overbalanced to poor health areas). An alternative hypothesis for the greater overspend in rural and better health areas is that their populations have, in general, greater numbers of GPs for the population need i.e. wider ?gates?, and also higher expectations of the NHS than is the case in deprived urban areas.
Senior Research Officer
Manchester Joint Health Unit