The Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) provides recommendations and advice on the target, relative geographical distribution of funding for health services in England, given the objectives of the funding formula. It is supported by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and a team of analysts in NHS England. ACRA is an independent, expert committee, comprising mainly of general practitioners, public health experts, National Health Service managers and academics. This group makes recommendations for changes to the weighted capitation formula.
The allocation of funding to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is informed by the estimation of the relative health needs of local areas, based on a set of funding formulae.
The formulae are based on independent academic research and include the factors statistically associated with higher or lower need per head for NHS services. These formulae produce a target allocation, or 'fair share' for each area, based on a complex assessment of factors such as demography, morbidity, deprivation, and the unavoidable cost of providing services in different areas.
Once national budgets are set, CCG funding is targeted using a set of 'weighted capitation' formulae which help us estimate health needs in different local areas. As the need for different types of health services varies, there are separate formulae for each of the CCG core responsibilities, specialised services and primary medical care. Within CCG core responsibilities there are separate formulae for general and acute, mental health and maternity services.
Allocations based on the formulae have been made until 2020/21.