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Value for Money

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, in percentage terms, the value for money changes in the operation of his Department in (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 2001–02. [52275]

Ms Blears: The 1998 public service agreement set targets for efficiency and other value for money gains in departmental operations for 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2001–02. Information about progress on meeting this PSA target was published in the Department's 2001 departmental report, a copy of which is in the Library. This recorded that we were on course to deliver the target.

8 May 2002 : Column 270W

NHS Prescriptions

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was (a) the income from those NHS prescriptions which are paid for and (b) the cost of administering free NHS prescriptions during the last year for which figures are available. [52590]

Ms Blears: Income from prescription charges in 2000–01 in respect of prescriptions written by general practitioners and dispensed in the community in England, was £389 million. Income from charges collected by national health service trusts is not separately identifiable.

These costs are not identified separately within the administrative costs of the Department and NHS bodies in England.