§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to charge patients in NHS hospitals for food or accommodation.
§ Mr. Moyle
No. There would be serious difficulties in introducing such charges. Large numbers of patients would need to be exempted, and there would also be an overlap with existing arrangements for patients receiving social security benefits. Any income would be considerably reduced by the high administrative costs that would be involved. In addition, a period in hospital often involves extra expenses, or a reduction in income, which may offset any savings at the home of the patient.