HC Deb 06 April 1982 vol 21 c821
12. Mr. Hoyle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to meet the chairmen of the new district health authorities to discuss their budgets.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

A date has yet to be fixed for my first meeting with district health authority chairmen. As far as allocations to DHAs are concerned, this is primarily the task of regional health authorities.

Mr. Hoyle

Will the Minister bear in mind under-funded district health authorities such as Warrington, which is £3 million down, when the budgets are being prepared? If he finds that those authorities are under-funded, will he make available extra cash to them?

Mr. Clarke

I accept that Warrington has been under-funded. I am glad to say that it has had the lion's share of growth in health service resources in that area over the last few years. Spending in Warrington has gone up by 9.6 per cent. over the last three years, whereas the Government have increased expenditure nationally by 3.5 per cent. in real terms. The new regional health authorities are planning to increase resources for Warrington by 2 per cent. each year as long as their planned growth is provided for.

Mr. Latham

In answer to question No. 4 my hon. and learned Friend announced welcome cuts in staffing costs and numbers. Will he ensure that new district health authorities continue to show substantial reductions in numbers of administrative staff?

Mr. Clarke

The Mersey regional health authority and the Warrington district health authority will be given express targets for reductions in mangement costs. The money that they save in that way can be added to the growth money that we are proposing for the improvement of health care and facilities for patients.