§ Sir Anthony Meyer
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many retirement pensioners during each of the last five years for which figures are readily available have had sums deducted from their pensions in respect of accommodation or national health service treatment after the statutory six weeks stay in national health service hospitals; and what was the total sum received by the national health service in consequence of these deductions during each of these years.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Figures are not available in the precise form requested. However, data are available on the number of people counted on specified dates in the past five years who had their benefit reduced as a result of receiving in-patient treatment under the national health service. The numbers are as follows:
Number 31 March 1986 76,450 30 September 1987 73,250 31 March 1988 68,990 31 March 1989 66,220 31 March 1990 60,590
The money by which a pensioner's benefit is reduced is not paid directly to the national health service but remains within the national insurance fund which helps fund the NHS. In 1989–90 the fund paid £4.06 billion towards the cost of the NHS.