Headlines: July 16th, 1998

Public sector managers are still trying to work out how there are so many apparent winners and so few losers in a spending review that’s seen nearly 21 billion pounds allocated to the NHS and 19 billion pounds to education.

What Gordon Brown’s spending review did reveal was further evidence of so-called ‘joined-up thinking’, with Health Secretary Frank Dobson commenting on the importance of local government social service departments receiving extra cash at the same time as the NHS.

In the past extra money to solve NHS deficiencies has failed to be effective because problems in social service finances have simply increased the hospitals workload.

Mr Dobson said: “The increased resources for social services mean that they will be able to plan ahead, knowing there will be increased funding in each of the next three years. They will have the resources they need to provide effective and integrated services to vulnerable people in society. They will be able to co-operate with the NHS to provide people with the treatment and care they need.”

The only area of clear controversy in the new three year spending round is the clear indication by the Chancellor that money should go on services, not public sector wages rises.