On top of the boost for health service funding, the NHS will be hoping public health benefits will stem indirectly from other initiatives announced in the comprehensive spending review.

People's health, the review suggests, could benefit from promised 'sustainable development' investment in transport and housing, from combating social exclusion and addressing the health and welfare of young children.

It promises a pounds4bn package for public sector housing improvements and extra funding for local authority integrated transport schemes 'to tackle congestion and poor air quality'.

There is pounds3bn aimed at people living in deprived communities, investment which is expected to dovetail with other government policies such as the New Deal for jobs and the introduction of the minimum wage.

A cross-departmental fund for young children, called Sure Start, will receive pounds540m over three years. Some of this sum will be used to develop primary care services for pre-school children in deprived areas.

There will be pounds3bn over the next three years for local authority social services, some of which is expected to help towards improving joint working between NHS and social services.

The government wants to spend more of its annual pounds1.4bn illegal drugs budget on education, health promotion, rehabilitation and treatment. It plans to put pounds188m into cross-departmental initiatives to tackle drug misuse over the next four years. These include 'expanded NHS and community care services for drug misusers'.

There is a pounds1.1bn investment in science and research - which includes pounds100m for a high intensity x-ray machine used in human genome research.

The spending review promises extra investment in ministry of defence medical services, which it says 'have not been adequately resources in recent years'.