HC Deb 01 July 1963 vol 680 c5
8. Mr. Jeger

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the opinion of local authorities that they should be entitled to direct representation on the local hospital management committees; and whether he will seek to amend the National Health Service Act, 1946, to this end.

Mr. Powell

Some authorities have expressed this opinion; no, Sir.

Mr. Jeger

Does the Minister not consider that the many years of practical experience of the present system of representation reveals that the time has now arrived for a review to be made of the terms of membership of these committees? Should not local people be entitled to representation on these committees, which are at present rather unbalanced and seem to operate very much in accord with the"old pals act" rather than the National Health Service?

Mr. Powell

There is, in fact, a big representation on these committees of members of local authorities, particularly local health authorities. About one-third of all members of hospital management committees are also members of local authorities. I do not think that direct representation is practicable or right in the case of authorities which are the agents of regional hospital boards.