Select Committee on Health Memoranda

Memorandum by the Department of Health (Continued)

5.7  PSS demographic pressures

  Could the Department provide details of the specific inflation index calculated for social services, and an assessment of the financial effect of demographic pressures on social services?


  1.  Since last year, the Department of Health has produced a new pay and prices index using New Earnings Survey data on the earnings of staff groups working in social services weighted by their respective share of the workforce. The new index is set out in the table below for the latest three years.

Table 5.7.1



  2.  The Department's estimates of the notional financial consequences of demographic changes on social services are set out in table 5.7.2 below.

  3.  The calculation is based on estimated population changes for children (aged 0-17), adults (18-64) and people aged 65 and over. The younger adult age group is further separated into two age bands: 18-44 and 45-64. The elderly age group is further broken down into five year age bands: 65-69 years, 70-74 years, 75-79 years, 80-84 years and 85 years and over. For this age group the analysis is also split by gender.

  4.  Local authority expenditure returns are used to divide total expenditure into children, elderly and younger adults' age groups. Expenditure on the elderly is additionally separated into four different categories of service: residential PSS, home care, meals and day centres.

  5.  Activity data is used to estimate the breakdown of elderly expenditure in each of these four service categories into five-year age bands. For example, expenditure on residential PSS on those aged 65-69, home care expenditure on those aged 70-74 and so on. Activity data is derived from DH statistics, supplemented with information on service utilisation from the General Household Survey.

  6.  Estimated expenditure for each age band is then multiplied by projected future changes in populations in each age band to arrive at estimated demographic pressure in each band. Summing across all age bands gives total financial demographic pressure, which is then divided by current expenditure to give an expression of the effects of demographic changes in percentage terms. This is set out in table 5.7.2 below. Revisions in the methodology have led to a revision of the figure for 2003-04 from 0 per cent change to 0.1 per cent increase.

Table 5.7.2


  7.  The interpretation of this table is that, for example, on the basis of these estimations, resources for social services need to increase by 0.2 per cent between 2001-02 and 2002-03 in order to keep pace with changes in the age composition of the population, assuming that all other relevant factors remain constant.

5.8  PSS Programme Budgets

  Could the Department provide a breakdown by client group of gross expenditure for the latest available two years on the main items of social services activity? Could the Department also update Tables 5.8?

  1.  Tables 5.8.1 and 5.8.2 show the breakdown by client group of gross expenditure for 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Table 5.8.3 updates last year's response.

  2.  The data shown in tables 5.8.1 and 5.8.2 is illustrated in figures 5.8.1 and 5.8.2.

Table 5.8.1


Table 5.8.2


Table 5.8.3


5.9  Capital spending on social services

  5.9a  Could the Department provide figures on the acquisition, upgrade and sale of personal social services assets, for the years 1995-96 to 2000-01?

  5.9b  Could the Department comment on the outcome for personal social services of the Capital Challenge Pilot Fund scheme?

  5.9c  Could the Department provide an update on PFI projects currently supported, or being considered by the Departments, and state its criteria for supporting such projects?

  5.9d  Could the Department compare actual capital spend by social services departments with the funding provided through credit approvals and capital grants?

  5.9a  Could the Department provide figures on the acquisition, upgrade and sale of personal social services assets, for the years 1995-96 to 2000-01?

  1.  Figures are provided in Table 5.9.1. While the figures show a decrease in capital expenditure between the years 1995-96 and 2000-01, they show a more recent increase between 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

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