§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how his Department calculateses the annual estimated growth in National Health Service resources demanded by demographic change;
(2) if he will give for each year from 1975 to 1995 the estimated growth in National Health Service resources demanded by demographic change.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
The estimates of growth in demographic demand on the hospital and community health services are arrived at by weighting the estimated and projected population changes each year, based on the latest figures published by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, by the estimated expenditure per head in those groups to give for each of the years in question the total expenditure, and thus the percentage growth required to meet demographic needs. The resultant estimates of annual increases in demographic demand are thus expenditure-based but should not be taken to imply that increased spending is the only way in which increased demand can be met; improved efficiency and cost improvement programmes play a significant part in developing services to meet the various pressures on the service. On the foregoing basis the increase in demographic demand on hospital and community health services for each year from 1975–76 to 1995–96 is estimated as follows:
Year Per cent. 1975–76 0.0 1976–77 0.2 1977–78 0.3 1978–79 0.9 1979–80 1.2 1980–81 0.9 1981–82 0.3 1982–83 0.5 1983–84 0.5 1984–85 0.6 1985–86 1.1
Year Per cent. 1986–87 1.0 1987–88 0.9 1988–89 0.8 1989–90 0.7 1990–91 0.6 1991–92 0.5 1992–93 0.2 1993–94 0.0 1994–95 0.1 1995–96 0.6
The effect of demographic changes is not identified separately from other pressures for the family practitioner services which are demand-led, but changes in population structure, and especially increases in the number of very elderly people, clearly lead to increased demand for these services as well.