Government's £1 Billion raidAlmost £1billion of NHS cash could be stripped from the poorest parts of the country and handed to the richest, according to a report by the Daily Mirror.

A major allocation review is set to change the way health bosses calculate which areas get most money.Funding, now assessed by deprivation, may soon be based on the number of OAPs.

The move could see vital funds removed from the North and London and given to wealthy areas in the Midlands, the South East and South West. A final decision will be made in December. Documents show the plans would take £720million from the North’s 68 local health boards and £221million from the capital.

GP leaders yesterday condemned the idea. The cash would disappear from community health budgets, squeezing GPs, dentists, and health centres.Biggest loser would be West Yorkshire, with struggling communities dealt a £210million blow – equivalent to 8,000 nurses or £87 per person a year.

The only big winner in the North would be wealthy Cheshire. It would get £44million a year more because of its relatively high number of elderly. Oxfordshire, where PM David Cameron is an MP, would gain £40million. Dr Kailash Chand, of the British Medical Association, said: “Health problems are far worse in the North.

"If money goes to the Shires, where people live longer, it will have a profound effect.”

An NHS England spokesman said they had a legal duty to ensure patients had equal access to services across the country.