HC Deb 29 October 1987 vol 121 cc415-6W
Mr. Eastham

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance his Department issues to regional health authorities about the acceptable level of creditors for a health authority to have in terms of (a) the number of weeks of creditors and (b) the percentage of trade creditors to allocation; and what were those levels for the past three years and projections for 1987–88 and 1988–89.

Mrs. Currie

The Department has issued no specific guidance on an acceptable level of creditors, but health authorities are expected to keep these within the bounds of financial prudence.

The Department does not collect in-year information on creditor balances and any attempt at estimates for 1987–88 or 1988–89 would be purely speculative.

Following are figures for the past three years derived from the summarised accounts of health authorities in England:

Regional and District Health Authorities1
Column (a) Total creditors as at 31 March related to total expenditure for the year Column (b) "Other" revenue creditors as at SI March related to total revenue allocation for the year
Weeks per cent.
1984–85 2.5 3.2
1985–86 2.6 3.3
1986–87 2.8 3.7
1 Includes the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals.


1. the figures for 1986–87 are based on provisional (that is, as yet unaudited) information.

2. The figures in column (a) cover revenue and capital creditor balances and expenditure.

3. "Other" revenue creditors includes mainly trade creditors which are not separately identified in the annual accounts of health authorities.