§ Mr. George Osborne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting(a) more than six months and (b) more than 12 months for in-patient treatment in the South Cheshire health authority in (i) March 1997 and (ii) September 1997 and in each reporting period in between. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The number of residents of South Cheshire health authority recorded as waiting more than six months and 12 months for in-patient and day case treatment at the 31 March, 30 June and 30 September 1997 is shown in the table.
Over 6 months Over 12 months March 1997 4,043 338 June 1997 5,126 978 September 1997 5,148 914
§ Mr. Laws
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the 10 health authorities with the(a) highest and (b) lowest expenditure by weighted head; and if he will estimate the number of people waiting for more than six months in each of these health authority areas for (i) in-patient treatment and (ii) out-patient treatment; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Hutton
For the reasons set out in the notes to the table, expenditure per head cannot be reliably compared between health authorities, nor necessarily be correlated with waiting times information.
The 10 health authorities with the highest and lowest expenditure per weighted head of population in 2000–01 are shown in the table. The numbers of people waiting for more than six months for in-patient and for out-patient treatment are shown both as total numbers waiting and also as the numbers waiting per 1,000 head of weighted population.1037W
Number of patients waiting over 6 months Number of patients waiting over 26 weeks =6 months) Health authority Expenditure per weighted head of population(£) For in-patient treatment For in-patient treatment per 1,000 head of weighted population For 1st out-patient appointment following GP referral For 1st out-patient following GP appointment referral per 1,000 head of weighted population County Durham and Darlington 738.32 1,852 2.8 441 0.7 Wigan and Bolton 732.65 2,638 4.3 1,601 2.6
1.In many health authorities there are factors which distort the expenditure per head. These include:
the health authority acting in a lead capacity to commission healthcare or fund training on behalf of other health bodies; asset revaluations in NHS Trusts being funded through health authorities; and some double counting of expenditure between health authorities and primary care trusts within the health authority area.
Allocations per weighted head of population provide a much more reliable measure to identify differences between funding of health authorities.
2. Expenditure is taken from health authority and primary care trust summarisation forms which are prepared on a resource basis and therefore differ from allocations in the year. The expenditure is the total spent by the health authority and by the primary care trusts within each health authority area. The majority of General Dental Services expenditure is not included in the health authority or primary care trust accounts and is separately accounted for by the Dental Practice Board.
3. Health authorities and primary care trusts should account for their expenditure on a gross basis. This results in an element of double counting where one body acts as the main commissioner and is then reimbursed by other bodies. The effect of this double counting within the answer cannot be identified.
Health authority summarisation forms 2000–01
Primary care trust summarisation schedules 2000–01
Weighted population estimates 2000–01
QFO1/QMO8R Waiting times data quarterly returns, end March 2001.