HC Deb 08 December 1986 vol 107 c11
8. Mr. D. E. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of his Department's expenditure for 1986–87 will be devoted to the needs of children under five years of age.

Mr. Mark Robinson

Direct provision for children under five is made only through voluntary sector grants. In the current year more than £1 million has been allocated to voluntary organisations in Wales concerned with the needs of children.

Mr. Thomas

As the specific initiative for the under-fives through the voluntary sector in Wales was a year and a half behind that of the DHSS in England, as only £300,000 was allocated to the scheme in Wales compared with £6.5 million in England, and as the English scheme is due to taper out next March, what is the future for the Welsh funding?

Mr. Robinson

We are only halfway through the initiative, which has a three-year term. We have allocated £300,000 to 119 projects in addition to the other moneys allocated to the under-fives. We have received no complaints that that is inadequate.

Mr. Gareth Wardell

Will the Minister give an assurance that, in line with the recommendations to the British Paediatric Association from medical committees and other professional organisations, the standard of training in Wales for secondary care doctors in the community will be at least as high as that of hospital consultant paediatricians doing the same work?

Mr. Robinson

That is a matter for the district health authorities concerned. They are aware of the development, which is a fairly new one, of consultant community paediatricians.