UK Spending on Health: Cabinet Office FOI Release

The Cabinet Office has published its response to a FOI request for details of discussions between 10 Downing Street and HM Treasury about plans to increase the UK’s spending on health to meet the European average.

You can download a copy of the response issued by the Prime Minister’s Office from the Cabinet Office disclosure log or by clicking on the link below.

Health spending (PDF 288KB)

Getting information from the Cabinet Office is like squeezing blood from a stone as this letter makes clear. A bare minimum of information is given out and exemption 21 is used – ‘Information accesible by other means’. When this exemption is used, section 16 of the Act and good practice guidelines advise public authorities to provide detail about where the information is currently available and how to access it. The Cabinet Office has not done this.

Concurrently, the Department of Health released a document today that gives details on how, and on what, the NHS’ £33 billion budget was spent in 2004. The DoH states that the Reference Costs/Reference Costs Index publication is ‘the richest source of financial data on the NHS ever produced.’

‘The main purpose of the data is to provide a basis for comparison within (and outside) the NHS between organisations, and down to the level of individual treatments.’

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