Think tank warns of uneven NHS spending

In collaboration with the Press Association

A think tank has revealed that some health care trusts in England spend up to four times as much on certain diseases as they spend on others.

NHS managers have said that the differences may reflect the different burden of diseases in different areas, however.

The King's Fund report examined spending at 303 primary care trusts which are altogether responsible for 80 per cent of the NHS budget. Analysts at the think tank said that the results raised questions about the consistency of treatment across the country.

"We urge the government and Department of Health to give full consideration to these important findings," said medical director of Cancer Research UK professor John Toy.

"The King's Fund report raises questions about whether patients with serious diseases, including cancer, are being treated equally and fairly regardless of where they live."

The NHS Confederation said that the findings were a direct result of giving patients more choice in how local medical funds were spent.