§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the total annual cost improvement programme in the National Health Service provider units in each of the last four years. 
§ Mr. Richards
In the latest available four years, the minimum efficiency savings targets, including cash-releasing cost improvement programmes, set for the NHS in Wales were as follows:
Year Per cent. 1990–91 1.1 1991–92 1.1 1992–93 1.1 1993–94 2.0
of authorities' recurrent revenue cash allocations. This resulted in cumulative cash releasing savings over the four years of £53 million at 1993–94 prices.
The minimum efficiency target for 1994–95 was 2.7 per cent., which included a target of 1.3 per cent. for further cash-releasing cost improvement savings—forecast cash savings of £17 million—and 0.45 per cent. or £6 million in respect of savings to be achieved through reductions in management costs. For 1995–96 the minimum efficiency target is 3 per cent., which includes a further £3.25 million cash savings for reductions in management, administrative and clerical costs.
It is for the health authority to determine in its contracts with service providers how the remaining efficiency target should be split between cash-releasing savings and activity increases generated by increased production.