§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in view of the changes in the local government administration following the creation of the Greater London Council, it is intended to alter the existing areas of the Regional Hospital Boards.]
§ LORD DENHAM
My Lords, the existing areas of Regional Hospital Boards will have to be redefined in terms of the new boroughs created by the London Government Act. This is a technical consequence of the Act, but the opportunity is also being taken to consider whether there should be any alterations in the areas for which the Boards are responsible. As consultations with the Hospital Service have so far proceeded, it seems unlikely that any major changes will be proposed, but the views of the local authorities concerned will be sought before any alterations are made.
§ LORD ALPORT
My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for his Answer. I should like to ask him, if I may, when it is likely that a decision on this matter will take place; and whether it is not important that, so far as possible, the administrative layout of the social services in the country should conform to the changes in the local government administrative areas.
§ LORD DENHAM
My Lords, it is intended to revoke all the existing regulations with effect from April 1, 1965, and to replace them wish new regulations taking account of the changes that will 1178 have been made by that date. It is recognised that health services should, wherever possible, recognise general geographical limits for common purposes, but in London the use of hospitals is determined primarily by preference for the facilities they offer and by ease of communication, rather than by the local authority areas in which the patients live.