§ Mrs. Renee Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money has been spent by the National Health Service on provision of linen for National Health Service hospitals each year since 1979; and what estimates of the value of linen has been reported stolen have been made by health authorities each year during the same period.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
The annual accounts of regional and district health authorities in England and the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals show total expenditure on bedding and linen as follows:
£ million 1979–80 32.4 1980–81 38.8 1981–82 42.4 1982–83 44.6 1983–84 43.5 1984–85 47.4
Losses of bedding and linen have been separately identified in the accounts only from 1984–85. In that year losses through theft, fraud, arson or negligence were recorded as £63,335 and those arising from discrepancies and unexplained issues as £552,719. However, the returns for 1984–85 were incomplete and the last figure is therefore an understatement of the real position. Management action has been taken to investigate the reasons for incomplete returns and to ensure full returns for 1985–86.