HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc276-7W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the money set aside for directly funded equipment has been taken up by local authorities(a) so far this financial year and (b) in the last financial year. [151717]

Dr. Ladyman

[holding answer 29 January 2004]: I assume that the hon. Member is referring to funding for community equipment services. These are funded in the following manner: all local health and social services have historic funding streams for these services. At the beginning of the initiative to integrate and modernise these services we announced that we were increasing baseline funding to the National Health Service and councils to enable them to participate. We gave the NHS an extra £105 million over the years 2001–02 to 2003–04 and made a substantial addition to councils' personal social services allocation ( following normal practice, the amount of the latter was not announced). Councils with social services responsibilities are also now receiving even more funding for community equipment through the systems and access capacity grant, starting with —7.6 million this year, with considerable rises due in 2004–05 and 2005–06. In all cases, local service commissioners decide how to use that funding to meet the needs of their local populations and this element of their spending is not monitored centrally.