§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what allowances are being granted to hospitals throughout the country to compensate for the difference 845W between the Government forecast of and the actual inflation rate in the National Health Service: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
Health authorities operate under the cash planning system and are expected to meet all pay and price increases and develop services within the total resources available to them. Additional funds are not normally provided to take account of higher than expected inflation or other unforeseen demands. This year alone we have provided an additional £1 billion for hospital and community services (HCHS) compared with 1980–89. They have also benefited from the effect of reduced superannuation contributions and new cost improvemens. Next year the total resources available to the HCHS will increase by over £1£3 billion.