HL Deb 10 February 1998 vol 585 cc157-8WA
Lord Rea

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Jay of 27 January (WA 25–28), concerning costs to the NHS arising from (a) road accidents; (b) accidents in the home; (c) smoking related illness; (d) alcohol related illness; (e) drug related illness; (f) AIDS; (g) food poisoning; (h) CJD; and (i) mental illness, what are the bed days and costs for the groups of conditions described as a proportion of total bed days or costs for all conditions for the periods concerned. [HL382]

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington)

The reply of 27 January (WA 25–28) presented information on the number of bed days in hospital for some illnesses and injuries. These were from different sources, which means that they were not all comparable. The estimates of the number of bed days in hospital from the previous reply that were comparable were obtained from the hospital episode statistics (HES) database. These are given (rounded to the nearest 1,000) in the table, together with the total number of bed days in hospital in England in 1994–95.

The number of bed days in hospital for the conditions are very low when expressed as a proportion of the total number of bed days: the conditions each contributed to less than 1 per cent. of the total number of bed days in hospital in 1994–95, except alcohol related illness, which contributed to 1.5 per cent. of the total bed days.

Illness/injury Number of bed days in hospital
Road accidents 300,000
Alcohol related illness 1,022,000
Drug related illness 190,000
AIDS 10,000
Food poisoning 190,000
All injuries and illnesses 69,167,000

Although estimates are available for the costs to the National Health Service for certain illness and injuries (and available estimates were given in the previous reply), the department does not record the cost to the NHS of specific illnesses or injuries. The estimated costs given in the previous reply are not directly comparable as they were calculated on different bases: for example, for treatment of AIDS the amount allocated to health authorities was given, whereas for treating diseases caused by smoking an estimated cost was given. In addition they are not directly comparable with total NHS spending. The total cost of the NHS in 1995–96 was almost £33.5 billion (gross) or £32.0 billion (net).