HC Deb 21 February 1983 vol 37 c357W
Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what inflation targets were and are contained in the health budgets for 1980–81, 1981–82 and 1982–83; and what was the actual rate of inflation as experienced by the National Health Service in those years.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

The following table shows the provision for inflation in health authorities' cash limits in 1980–81, 1981–82, and 1982–83, and actual pay and price movements experienced by health authorities:

1980–81 1981–82 1982–83
per cent. per cent. per cent.
Cash limit provision 14.0 7.3 6.1
Pay and price movements 27.9 8.2 6.5

In 1980–81 the shortfall on pay was due to the recurring costs of 1979–80 pay settlements and was largely met by an addition to health authority cash limits for that year. The shortfalls on prices in 1980–81 and 1981–82 were restored in the succeeding years' cash limits. The forecast shortfall in 1982–83 reflects the requirement on health authorities to contribute towards the cost of pay awards through greater efficiency.

Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what savings were made in the overall health budget through efficiency gains in 1981–82; to what purposes these savings were put; and what such savings are estimated or planned for 1982–83.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

In 1981–82 health authorities were asked to contribute to the planned growth in services by making efficiency savings of about £30 million. They achieved savings of £29 million, including recurrent savings with a full year effect of about £24 million. In 1982–83 health authorities are required to make efficiency savings of about £45 million. Figures are not yet available on the level of savings that are being achieved. Efficiency savings are intended to release resources to be ploughed back into the development of patient services. It is for health authorities to determine in detail how these resources should be used to improve patient services.