asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has received the report of the working party of the Association of Health Service Treasurers on managing capital assets in the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend has received a copy of the working party's report which the association is distributing to all health service treasurers. The report points out that NHS revenue accounts do not at present show the annual cost of consuming and replacing capital assets, including equipment. It examines commercial practices in accounting for capital and sets out a number of proposals for introducing this principle into the accounts of health authorities. The working party emphasise that they are not merely seeking changes in the way information is presented but wish to provide a basis for the more efficient use by managers of the resources available for health care in this country.I strongly endorse the report's central case that managers in the NHS need to be more fully aware of the value of the assets they manage and cost of using them, and I should like to thank the association for the important contribution they have made in exploring practical ways of achieving this.