Skip to main content

Health Services: Finance

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what provision his Department has made for extra funding for health services in areas with disproportionately high levels of elderly residents; (157014)

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the age of the population on demand for health care.

The 2006-08 revenue allocations represent £135 billion investment in the national health service—£64 billion to primary care trusts (PCTs) in 2006-07 and £70 billion in 2007-08. Over the two years covered by this allocation, PCTs will receive an average increase of 19.5 per cent.

The revenue allocations are made to PCTs based on a weighted-capitation formula. The formula has three elements, one of which is an age adjustment. The age adjustment is one of the three elements of the formula. This adjustment recognises that a principal cause of variation in the level of demand for health services is the age structure of the population. The very young and the elderly, whose populations are not evenly distributed throughout the country, tend to make more use of health services than the rest of the population. The purpose of the age weighting within the formula is to allow for varying elements of health need associated with the age structure of local populations.

The development of the weighted-capitation formula, including the age adjustment, is continually assessed and overseen by the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA). ACRA is an independent body comprising NHS management, general practitioner and academic membership. ACRA's current work programme is looking again at all elements of the formula, including the age adjustment.