§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 16 May 2002]: Prior to 5 April 1999 national health service trusts had responsibility for collecting from insurers charges for hospital treatment following road traffic accidents under the provisions of sections 157 and 158 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Trust accounts show the following amounts of road traffic income since 1994, the earliest year for which information is available:
£ million 1994–95 13.1 1995–96 13.1 1996–97 13.6 1997–98 16.6 1998–99 19.6
The system for recovery of these charges changed with the introduction of the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 which came into effect on 5 April 1999 and there is now a new centralised recovery system which is undertaken by the compensation recovery unit (CRU). Since April 1999 the CRU has paid the following amounts to NHS trusts:
£ million 1999–2000 26.6 2000–01 67.0 2001–02 86.8
The amount collected for 1999–2000 does not represent total income to the NHS in that year. This is because income would have been received directly by trusts in the first part of the year as a carry-over from the old arrangements.