§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) following the announcement of additional money to the National Health Service on 16 December 1987, what he now expects the real growth in National Health Service resources to be during the current year;
(2) if he will detail the calculations supporting his statement, Official Report, 16 December 1987, column 1102, that National Health Service expenditure will grow by 3 per cent. in 1988–89.
§ Mr. Newton
[holding answer 11 January 1988]: Including the additional resources I announced on 16 December 1987, gross expenditure on the NHS in England in 1987–88 is now expected to be some 5.5 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1986–87. The figure, of course, also includes other substantial additional resources made available during the course of the year, including those to assist in meeting the costs of review body awards and of extra pressures arising from HIV infection and AIDS. For 1988–89, the planning total in the recent White Paper represents a further increase of over 1 per cent. in real terms, after allowing for forecast general inflation of 4.25 per cent. during the year.
Expenditure on the hospital and community health services, to which my statement on 16 December 1987 was directed, was at that time expected to rise in England (on the figures given in the Autumn Statement) from £11,382 million in 1987–88 to £12,091 million—an increase in real terms of 1.7 per cent., after allowing for general inflation. While the extra £75 million for 1987–88 announced on 16 December together with the funds provided to reflect a change in health authorities carry forward arrangements, has the effect of reducing this percentage increase to about 1 per cent., in either case, account must be taken of the benefit of cash-releasing cost improvements and income generation, expected to be equivalent to a further real terms increase in available resources approaching 1.5 per cent., and of other improvements in efficiency contributing to the effective availability of resources for patient care.