§ Mr. John Garrett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to the reply by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hon. Member for Norwich, South on 23 February, what output measures have been developed for health and social services programmes; and if he proposes to publish them.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
Measures of final output, which reflect how patients and clients have benefited from health and personal social services, are difficult to construct, for example because of the problems of separating the impact of service provision from other factors and of comparing different aspects of health status such as pain and disability. The development of outcome measures is therefore a subject of long-term basic research, and my Department has sponsored a number of studies in this area. At the national level, for planning and monitoring purposes, my Department uses a combination of intermediate output measures—such as the number of patients receiving treatment or the number of clients receiving social services—and input measures—such as available number of hospital beds and residential accommodation places—which are monitored against resources used. A summary of these measures is published annually in the Health and Personal Social Services Chapter of the public expenditure White Paper (see"The Government's Expenditure Plans, 1980–81 to 1983–84: Cmnd. 7841 Chapter 11"). A fuller analysis has been given in evidence to the Select Committee on Social Services. (Third Report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1979–80: Volume II, Minutes of Evidence and Appendix, pages 54 to 58).