§ Mr. Moyle
Five letters have been received from hon. Members on this subject, as well as one from Northumberland Community Health Council. In my replies to these letters, sent on 21st November, I have explained the present position regarding funding of these hospitals and informed them that a meeting between senior officers of the regional and area health authorities has been arranged to discuss the matter.
§ Mr. Beith
Is it not the case that under the region's revenue plan for the next two years betterment funds are being steered away from the Northumberland area, so that if essential improvements are to be made in these psychiatric hospitals it can be only at the expense of the other medical services in Northumberland, despite the fact that the hospitals serve the whole region?
§ Mr. Moyle
The hon. Gentleman has got the wrong idea, because half of the betterment funds for this year going to the Northumberland Area Health Authority have been directed towards psychiatric hospitals. In any case, the region is a receiving region under the Resource Allocation Working Party formula and is therefore likely to enjoy a growth rate of at least 2 per cent. on current forward projections for the next decade. Therefore, the second point raised by the hon. Gentleman is not true either.