§ Mr. Favell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take in the light of the significant variations between different district health authorities in the percentage of their total expenditure taken up by administrative and clerical costs; to what factors he attributes these variations; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
[holding answer 29 April 1988]: I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Mr. Shaw) on 3 May at columns 490–98 which gave individual regional health authority and district health authority administrative and clerical staff figures together with cost and cost relative to population.
Costs, particularly the costs relative to population for individual districts, can be influenced by a number of factors: (a) the presence or absence of regional services such as blood transfusion or ambulance services and regional specialties; (b) people crossing district boundaries for treatment and sub-regional resource allocations reflecting the pattern of service provision locally; (c) the fact that the population figures used are for resident population and make no allowances for differences in morbidity and age-sex structure of particular populations; (d) the payment of London weighting allowance to staff employed in relevant authorities within the four Thames regions.