David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department plans to take to implement its resource allocation formula in respect of unprocessed distance from target adjustments. 
Mr Simon Burns: We have guaranteed that health spending will increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament. However, healthcare spend will also be looked at as part of the next spending review. This will inform the speed at which primary care trusts move towards their target revenue allocations.
Mr Simon Burns: The Government's review of spending decisions taken since 1 January this year was to ensure that all the schemes considered were affordable, good value for money and consistent with the Government's priorities. This was in the context of the most urgent task facing the Government which was to tackle the record levels of debt inherited from the last government.
As part of the statement given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 17 June to the House, the cancellation of the proposed new £450 million hospital scheme for North Tees and Hartlepool was announced.
Where major national health service changes are proposed, they must meet the strengthened criteria for such decisions as set out in a letter from the NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson of 20 May to Monitor and all NHS chief executives. This is to ensure that, in future, all service changes must be led by clinicians and patients and not be driven from the top down.
In these tough economic times it is essential that all major hospital building-whether private finance initiatives or public capital-be affordable and provide value for money for the taxpayer. For foundation trusts, proposals must be consistent with their independent status in relation to reduced reliance on Departmental support. As a foundation trust with independent status, North Tees and Hartlepool has borrowing powers and other mechanisms available to it to fund alternative capital investment requirements.
The trust will have incurred costs in working up the proposals, in developing the business case and in performing the feasibility studies behind it. As an independent foundation trust this information is a matter for Monitor (the statutory name for the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) and may be obtained by writing to the Chairman of Monitor.
The business case approved in March 2010 anticipated a request from the trust to the Department for £8 million to buy the land on the Wynyard Park site for the new hospital. This request was received and met by the Department. If the trust has no further use for the land then it can be sold to recover the funding.
The local strategic health authority and primary care trust have both pledged to continue working closely with all local NHS organisations to plan and develop the best possible health services for the population of Hartlepool and North Tees and to ensure that the wider 'Momentum Project'-involving bringing healthcare services closer to communities-will continue.
The NHS capital investment schemes which were approved to go ahead as a result of the Government review of spending commitments made under the last administration since 1 January 2010 are those for Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust.
|Number and cost of prescription forms and items dispensed in primary care by strategic health authority (SHA) in England: 2007 to 2009
|Prescription forms (thousand)
|Prescription items (thousand)
|Items where prescription charges were not paid at the point of dispensing( 1) (thousand)
|Average number of items per form
|Net ingredient cost (£000)
|Average cost per item (£)
|(1) Includes items dispensed to patients holding a pre-payment certificate.
NHS Prescription Services Information System