HC Deb 18 February 1976 vol 905 cc747-8W
Mr. Lawrence

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what sum of money has been allocated towards health education in each of the past three years.

Dr. Owen

Within the health services, health education is organised at national level primarily by the Health Education Council and at local level by area Health authorities. However, most health education is carried out in the course of face-to-face contacts that doctors, dentists, health visitors, midwives, nurses, pharmacists and others have with individual patients and their relatives. The Health Education Council's annual budgets during the last three years have been:

1973–74 £1,696,000
1974–75 £1,040,000
1975–76 £1,756,000

Between 95 per cent. and 99 per cent. of these sums has been provided from central Government funds. The figures for 1973–74 and 1975–76 include large additional allocations for specific national campaigns on smoking and health and family planning.

No information is available centrally about the cost either of health education services provided by area health authorities or of the face-to-face health education carried out by health professionals with individual patients and their relatives.

Much health education is also carried out in schools and other educational establishments and by local authority social service and environmental health departments and voluntary bodies. No estimates are available of the costs involved in such work.