NHS spending per patient highest in England

General practice spending per patient was 28% higher in England (£146.81) in 2007/8 than in Northern Ireland (£118.65), according to the NHS Information Centre.

General practice spending per patient was 28% higher in England (£146.81) in 2007/8 than in Northern Ireland (£118.65), according to the NHS Information Centre.

Figures published last week show that spending per patient in Wales (£143.08) in the same period was 20.6% greater than in Northern Ireland.

Comparisons for Scotland are unavailable because the government has identified differences in reporting by health boards and work is underway on these figures.

The only explanation offered by the NHS Information Centre report called ‘Investment in General Practice 2003/4 to 2007/8 England, Wales and Northern Ireland’ is: ‘There are very few dispensing GPs in Northern Ireland, and therefore dispensing expenditure is not included to the same extent as it is for England and Wales.’

The figures also show that the total general practice spend in England (£7.8bn) increased by 1.4% in 2007/8, Wales (£442m) up 2.2% and Northern Ireland (£217m) up 0.4%.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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