HC Deb 31 March 1981 vol 2 cc145-6
15. Mr. Cockeram

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to ensure that National Health Service hospitals do not take advantage of their position to the detriment of fund-raising activities of charities which provide health care as part of their services.

Dr. Vaughan

I am aware of my hon. Friend's long interest and involvement in charitable work, including the cottage homes. This is part of this country's unique record of voluntary and charitable work. The new power in the Health Services Act 1980 is intended to continue this, but we shall keep a close watch on its effect to ensure that the voluntary efforts are not undermined in any way.

Mr. Cockeram

I welcome the ability of the NHS to tap new sources of funds, but does my hon. Friend agree that it would be counter-productive if charities such as the retail trades cottage homes in Derby, Mill Hill and Scotland were to find their work of total care for the elderly, including health care, undermined by the new measure?

Dr. Vaughan

Yes, I agree with my hon. Friend. We shall keep a watch to ensure that that does not happen.

Mr. Adley

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Lymington hospital appeal in my constituency, which set out to raise £150,000, has now raised over £275,000? I do not wish to disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr. Cockeram), but will my hon. Friend the Minister encourage the trend whereby the public are prepared to contribute from their own pockets towards the provision of public facilities?

Dr. Vaughan

Yes. I cannot welcome too strongly what my hon. Friend has said. In going around the country I am amazed at the immense effort that goes into raising voluntary funds for the Health Service and the great deal of good that this does.