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Northern Rha (Performance Indicators)

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what criteria will be used in the proposed use of performance indicators to assess the Northern regional health authority.

Since 1 January 1987, we have received 22 letters from hon. Members or members of the public on this matter. None has been from a voluntary organisation or a general practitioner.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the number of prescriptions for each type of benzodiazepines dispensed by community pharmacists in Great Britain in each of the years 1978 to 1986 inclusive, giving the cost to the National Health Service in each case.

Information on the number of prescriptions for benzodiazepines in each of the years 1978 to 1986 and on the net ingredient cost in 1986 is set out in the table. Information on the costs for earlier years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Health Service indicators show each regional and district health authority's position in relation to other health authorities on a whole range of issues. 'The purpose of the indicators is, using local knowledge, to stimulate questions and enquiry about the reasons behind the variations across the country and between districts within regions. Northern region and its districts are being asked, like all other authorities, to analyse their indicators for the past four years and present the results to their authorities. Regions are specifically asked to look at variations across the region and at progress over time in addressing performance issues raised by the analysis. The results of these regional analyses will be discussed during this year's accountability reviews between the Department and regions.