NHS: It

Health written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what estimate she has made of the average percentage of the overall budget of (a) primary care trusts and (b) NHS trusts which was spent on IT in the most recent period for which figures are available;

(2) what average percentage of the allocation to an (a) primary care trust and (b) NHS trust is for information technology expenditure.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

The great majority of funding allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) is not ring fenced, and national health service trusts do not receive allocations but are paid for the provision of care services commissioned from them by PCTs. Each NHS organisation is free, and expected, to use its resources in the way that delivers the best available value for money.

Information technology (IT) expenditure reported by the NHS in the 2005-06 financial year amounted to £1,329 million, broken down as follows:

strategic health authorities (SHAs)—£24 million; and

PCTs—£484 million; and

NHS Trusts—£821 million.

Note

Figures rounded to the nearest whole £ million.

These figures comprise revenue expenditure (£1,096 million) reported through a national survey of IT investment, and capital expenditure, including software licences, identified in NHS accounts (£214 million) and reported by foundation trusts (£19 million). They do not include expenditure by special health authorities or central expenditure funded by the Department.

Based on data for those bodies submitting responses to the 2006 survey, spending in 2005-06 on IT represented

8.1 per cent. of total NHS trust (comprising acute, mental health, and ambulance trusts and foundation trusts), and 18.6 per cent. of total PCT capital expenditure; and

1.8 per cent. of total NHS trust, and 1.6 per cent. of total PCT revenue expenditure.

Based on the returns from the 2006 survey, the average percentage of:

total capital expenditure which NHS bodies as a whole spent on IT in 2005-06 was 10.42 per cent.; and total revenue expenditure which NHS bodies as a whole spent on IT in 2005-06 was 1.63 per cent.

Based on the returns from the 2006 survey, the average percentage of combined capital and revenue expenditure which NHS bodies as a whole spent on IT in 2005-06 was 1.92 per cent, equivalent to 2.02 per cent. if extrapolated across all 598 NHS organisations.

Full information from the 2006 survey will be available in the near future. A breakdown of the returns by each strategic health authority, PCT and NHS Trust has been placed in the Library.

Notes

1. Figures for PCT expenditure relate mainly to their functions as commissioning bodies.

2. With effect from 2004-05, NHS Foundation Trusts (FTs) have not been required to submit financial returns to the Department, and consequently FT data is only included where such data has been reported voluntarily through the national survey of NHS IT expenditure.

3. Percentage expenditure derives from returns provided in 2005-06 by 565 out of 598 NHS organisations in response to the national survey, supplemented with data on capital expenditure from NHS accounts where returns were not submitted.

4. The total revenue expenditure on IT is the sum of returns provided by 565 out of 598 NHS organisations in response to the national survey. However, if this figure were to be extrapolated across all 598 surveyed NHS organisations, it is estimated this would give an overall nationwide total of over £1,160 million. (Note: the survey data has not been subject to independent audit so this figure needs to be treated with a degree of caution).

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