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Nhs (Funds)

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how the additional financial resources, recently announced by him for the Health Service in Wales, will be allocated between each of the health authorities in Wales; and whether there are any restrictions on the use of these additional funds to make up for the non-funding of wage awards suffered by health authorities over the past two years.

I announced on 4 December, at column 719, that, subject to parliamentary approval, I propose to provide £843·9 million for hospital and community health services in Wales in 1988–89. Excluding the administration costs of the artificial limb and appliance service, which will from 1 April 1988 be transferred to the Welsh Health Common Services Authority, £792·0 million will be provided for current purposes and £51·4 million for capital expenditure.For current spending this represents a cash increase of £46·5 million, or 6·2 per cent. over recurrent 1987–88 provision. £39·3 million will be made available to health authorities for their discretionary use, which represents a cash increase of 5·3 per cent. over their recurrent 1987–88 allocations. The balance of £7·2 million, together with a further £2 million previously earmarked for non-recurrent purposes, will be allocated for centrally financed developments. These developments, particularly the consultant expansion scheme and pyschiatric bridging finance will considerably assist authorities in meeting future service pressures.In addition to this extra current provision, authorities will be able to retain the cash released through their cost improvement programmes. Authorities will also be able to retain the income raised from charges for private treatment, which is expected to be in excess of £2 million next year. Health authorities are also being encouraged to develop other sources of income generation.Of the capital provision, £29·5 million will be made available to health authorities for their discretionary use. This amounts to an increase of 20·4 per cent. over 1987–88 capital allocations. Authorities will also be able to retain the receipts from the sale of surplus land and buildings and this is expected to generate a further £3·1 million in 1988–89.The current and capital allocations to individual health authorities for next year will be as shown in the table. These allocations do not take into account further sums which will be made available following decisions to be made on centrally funded developments for 1988–89. These will be announced shortly.

Allocation (£ million)
Current elementCapital element
East Dyfed60·2752·212
Mid Glamorgan135·4555·653
South Glamorgan157·4392·711
West Glamorgan100·1354·927
There are no restrictions on the use of authorities' discretionary allocations, although all authorities are expected to take account of the policies and priorities for health services in Wales published by my Department in "Policies and Priorities for Health Services in Wales."I am also pleased to announce that a further £3·8 million will be made available for hospital and community health services in Wales in the current financial year. I shall be making a separate announcement about the distribution of these funds shortly. This additional provision brings the total cash increase for current spending on these services in 1987–88 to £750·5 million or 10·7 per cent. over 1986–87 provision. The additional money is being provided in recognition of the financial pressures which health authorities are facing at the present time and should help them to ensure that current levels of patient services are maintained without carrying forward a large burden of expenditure liabilities to 1988–89.