HC Deb 12 November 1985 vol 86 cc160-1W
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what public expenditure provision will be made for the National Health Service over the next three years; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Fowler

Spending on the National Health Service in England next year is planned to increase by more than £900 million to over £15 billion. Further increases of some £700 million in each of 1987–88 and 1988–89 will bring the total spending to £16.5 billion by the end of the period. These are substantial increases on our plans published in Cmnd. 9428—£250 million extra in 1986–87 and £300 million extra in 1987–88.

Current spending on the hospital and community health service will increase by £650 million to nearly £10.3 billion in 1986–87, an increase of 6.7 per cent. Health authorities will also retain the benefits of their growing cost improvement programme, which is planned to achieve £150 million this year. They will need to meet pay and price increases from within these resources but the additional funds announced today taken with cost improvement programmes should enable authorities to provide for the growing number of very elderly people and to improve services.

Further increases of £470 million and £440 million are planned for hospital and community health service current spending in 1987–88 and 1988–89, bringing total spending to £11.2 billion by the end of the period. The cash increases provide for leads of more than 1 per cent. over forecast inflation.

Centrla Government provision for hospital and community health service capital spending will be increased in each year. It will rise from £765 million in 1986–87 to £805 million in 1988–89. It will be supplemented by the proceeds of sales of surplus land and buildings which authorities will retain. The value of such sales has already reached £50 million a year and we expect this to increase very substantially. Higher cash provision and increased receipts from sales will enable authorities to carry through major investment programmes in hospitals and in community services.

Spending on the family practitioner services will increase by £230 million to £3.5 billion in 1986–87. Further increases of £200 million are planned in each of the two succeeding years, bringing total spending to £3.9 billion by the end of the period. We have planned to meet forecast demand.

These figures demonstrate the Government's continuing commitment to the National Health Service. The extra cash we are providing and the better value for money our policies are securing will enable the service to continue to provide more and better care for patients.