Learn English in the UK or in your own countryspacerUK courses and qualifications in the UK or in your own countryspacerThe best of British arts, media and designspacerPromoting British expertise in science, engineering, technology, environment and healthspacerGovernance and the rights of peoplespacerLibraries, information centres, seminars,  knowledge networks and the information society
What is the British Council?spacerVisit our worldwide network of officesspacerRead all about our collaborative workspacerFind our services, departments, libraries, personnel, etc.
The British Council home page
Money matters
 

With the changing season, annual concerns are being voiced regarding the potential 'winter crisis' - the effect of the cold weather, especially on the elderly. The Chancellor has announced in the Budget, that the NHS is to get an extra £250 million which will go towards setting up systems which will become a permanent feature of healthcare in the winter. The money is intended as a long-term measure which follows on from the schemes set up last year. The main emphasis being on increased co-operation between health and social services. These systems are also intended to prevent waiting lists growing uncontrollably during the winter, as they have done in the past. The government is priding itself on the continuing fall in waiting lists and times recorded this month.

There have been queries raised by members of opposition parties regarding the validity of these figures; references have been made to the use of separate, 'pending' lists. However, Frank Dobson, after investigation, has insisted that these claims are not valid. Mr Dobson also announced more details of the first year of the NHS Modernisation Fund of £1.2 billion, which will be partly funded from the £31 billion health authority allocation. This will provide: £320 million to cut waiting lists; £266 million to improve primary care; £12 million extra for drug advisory services; £49 million to fund 26 Health Action Zones; £50 million to invest in state of the art information technology; £44 million to spread the availability of NHS Direct and £472m on other modernisation initiatives. In addition to this expenditure, the government intends to provide a further £2.2 billion to spend on buildings and equipment. Specifically this will target the improvement of one quarter of all A&E departments, outpatients departments and the elimination of mixed sex wards. Baroness Hayman also volunteered more than £430m for the funding of NHS research and development.

Sources: Press releases (DoH); Times 4 November


Forward to Drugs in the news
Back to December 1998 index

Return to the themes page

  Produced in the United Kingdom by The British Council © 1999. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.