asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will make additional funds immediately available to regional health authorities to enable them to purchase privately produced Factor VIII to enable more haemophiliacs to undergo home treatment.
Additional revenue is planned for the NHS, in real terms, in the Public Expenditure White Paper, Cmnd 5879, the increase for hospitals and community health services being £240 million over the next four years, an average annual increase of 2·7 per cent. About half to 1 per cent. of this annual growth is required to provide services for the increasing and ageing population, but even after meeting inescapable commitments there is still room for real growth in the service; and I hope that economies and reallocation of existing resources will increase the scope for new services. It is for health authorities to decide how much of their financial allocation to devote to the treatment of all patients and to make the difficult financial choices which will reflect different care and treatment priorities between individual patients. They will, of course, make these decisions in the light of the advice they receive from their professional advisers who can assess individual needs.