Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page 3

The total bill for supporting the first year of the payment by results system will total£127m.

Health minister John Hutton told the Commons health select committee last week that the money was a one-off payment to trusts and primary care trusts, and that there was no intention to provide further funding in the future.

PCTs commissioning from early implementers of the payment by results system will be given£40m this financial year to compensate for the higher costs of services at tariff price, and acute trusts will be given£50m under the minimum income guarantee arrangements.

The remainder will be spent on supporting tertiary providers offering complex treatment.

Department of Health group director of health and social care delivery John Bacon told the committee that the support would not be needed in future years because providers who previously offered services at both above and below tariff level would be working under the payment by results system. The two should effectively balance each other out once the system is expanded beyond the current early implementers, which are the majority of the new foundation trusts. Mr Hutton told the committee that the government's response to its payment by results consultation would be published 'in the next few weeks'.