HC Deb 20 June 1995 vol 262 c206W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary for Health when she expects the Medical Workforce Standing Advisory Committee to make its second report; and what plans she has for providing funding for NHS spending associated with teaching and research in 1996–97. [30160]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

I am pleased to announce that the Medical Workforce Standing Advisory Committee has completed its second report. It is published today and copies will be placed in the Library.

Over the past two years, MWSAC has examined a wide range of issues that affect the medical profession. I am grateful to Sir Colin Campbell, the chairman, and the members of the committee for their continued work on forecasting long-term medical work force requirements. The Government accept the committee's main recommendation of a gradual increase in the United Kingdom target medical school intake from 4,470 to 4,970 by 2000. We will discuss its implementation with interested parties.

For 1995–96, as an interim measure, I increased by £40 million the service increment for teaching and research (SIFTR), which I announced on 22 November 1994 at column 489. SIFTR funds national health service spending in association with teaching and research so that these costs are not borne out of allocations for patient care. For 1996–97 I intend to transfer a further £40 million into the levies which will replace SIFTR.

From 1996–97, funding for NHS spending associated with teaching will be separated from that associated with research. The research element will form part of the single research and development budget described in the plan for implementing the recommendations of the NHS research and development task force published on 11 April 1995. Proposals for the teaching element—the service increment for teaching—were published for consultation on 23 May at column 518. I shall announce details of the way the £40 million increase for 1996–97 is to be allocated after the end of the consultation period.