HC Deb 30 April 1968 vol 763 cc982-3
17. Mr. Moyle

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the strictures on hospital management contained in Reports Nos. 29 and 60 of the National Board for Prices and Incomes, he will introduce legislation to replace regional hospital boards and hospital management committees by a one-tier professional system of management.

33. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health if the green paper he proposes to issue on the National Health Service will include the results of his consideration of the Report of the Royal Commission on Medical Education; and to what extent it will relate to the implementation of the recommendations contained therein.

Mr. K. Robinson

I would ask both my hon. Friends to await the Green Paper on the administrative structure of the medical and related services. In my review of the present structure I am taking account of the relevant recommendations of the reports to which they refer.

Mr. Moyle

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that, despite the dedicated service of the many people on regional hospital boards and similar organisations, their general image is one of weakness, gentility and amateur do-goodism and that the best way of dealing with it is to give these organisations proper professional management for the great benefit of the public and the employees in these organisations?

Mr. Robinson

I would not accept my hon. Friend's assertions. The fact that I am making this review of the administrative structure is not a reflection on those charged with the duty of carrying out the various arms of the Health Service. It is merely to see whether we can get a better framework within which which this dedicated work can be done.

Mr. Pavitt

When may we expect the Green Paper?

Mr. Robinson

I cannot say precisely, but I hope that it will be fairly soon.

Dr. John Dunwoody

If there are to be alterations in the administration of the hospital service, would not my right hon. Friend agree that they should be part of a much wider, all-embracing review of the administration of the Health Service as a whole, taking into account public health and general practitioner services?

Mr. Robinson

Yes, Sir. I think that I made it clear in my original announcement about the intention to publish a Green Paper that it would deal with the National Health Service as a whole—medical and related services—and go far beyond the administration of the hospital service.

Mr. Dean

Can the Minister give an undertaking that there will be no change made in the structure of our world-famous teaching hospitals without the fullest possible consultation?

Mr. Robinson

I have already said that the Green Paper is being published only for the purposes of consultation. Therefore, the answer to that question is that there will be consultation.