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Health Education

Volume 979: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what funds were allocated by his Department to the Health Education Council for the financial year 1978–79; how this compares with each of the previous five years; how much he estimates will be allocated for the financial year 1979–80; and what future level of funding is visualised.

The information is as follows:

£ millions (actual)
(a) 1978–793·537
(b) 1973–741·491
1979–80 (estimate)4·354
Final decisions have not yet been taken on levels of funding for 1980–81 and subsequent years.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of total expenditure on the National Health Service was allocated to the Health Education Council for each of the last 10 years.

The information is as follows:

Percentage of total annual expenditure on NHS Revenue Account (England)
The first five percentages are not strictly comparable with the second five as the calculations of the total annual NHS expenditure for each of the years 1969–70 to 1973–74 did not include the cost of the former part III local health services provided until April 1974 by local health authorities.Funds allocated to the Health Education Council do not represent the only expenditure on health education. Individual area health authorities provide local health education services under the NHS and a great deal of health education is carried out in addition by doctors, nurses and other health workers as part of their day to day contacts with individual patients and their families.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that sufficient resources are devoted to health education; and if he will make a statement.

Locally, the numbers of health education officers employed by area health authorities in England and Wales increased by about 58 per cent. between 1976 and 1979. Nationally, public funds allocated to the Health Education Council are estimated to have increased by about 193 per cent. between 1976–77 and 1979–80. While these developments indicate that more resources are being devoted to health education work, views differ on what is an appropriate level of spending on these activities. Subject to the overriding need, in present circumstances, to contain public expenditure, my aim remains to encourage the provision of more and better health education.