HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 cc96-7W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account will be taken of rurality in the allocation of funds to the NHS. [51917]

Mr. Milburn

A weighted capitation formula is used to determine each health authority's fair share of available resources and to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need.

In 1998/99 we introduced a new adjustment to the formula for emergency ambulance services, which includes a rurality factor. This was on the advice of the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation following a review of the cost of providing services in rural areas. The formula takes account of the health needs of populations, both rural and urban.