HC Deb 26 January 1999 vol 324 cc131-2
6. Mr. Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh, North and Leith)

When he will issue guidelines for local health care co-operatives. [65831]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Sam Galbraith)

I intend to issue broad guidance for local health care co-operatives this month. From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr. Chisholm

I welcome the fact that the Minister has changed his mind in the week since I raised the matter in the Scottish Grand Committee. Will he ensure that social work will be fully involved in local health care co-operatives, that nursing advice and representation will be guaranteed, and that there will be a significant role for members of the wider public? Will the co-operatives be dealt with in the forthcoming health Bill? When does he expect the Bill to be published? Is he sure that this last ever United Kingdom health Bill will pass through this House before health matters pass to the Scottish Parliament?

Mr. Galbraith

The purpose of local health care co-operatives is to ensure that everyone involved in the delivery of care across the spectrum is involved. That is the intention, and that is what they will deliver. There is no need to have them in the health Bill because they are not statutory bodies.

Mr. Desmond Swayne (New Forest, West)

Can the Minister confirm that the cost of setting up the new primary care trusts is broadly equivalent to the cost of supplying 150 full-time, fully qualified nurses?

Mr. Galbraith

I think that the hon. Gentleman has heard earlier questions from his Front-Bench colleagues and is trying to get some drift on bureaucratic costs. I repeat that reducing the number of trusts in Scotland has saved us £18 million; over the life of the Government, reducing bureaucracy set up by his Government will save the people of Scotland £100 million, all of which can be directly put into nurses, doctors and patient care.

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