§ BARONESS MACLEOD OF BORVE
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether their attention has been drawn to the letter about the Bath Clinical Area of the National Health Service which appeared in The Times on December 11.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY (LORD ABERDARE)
Yes. It is the Government's intention that the administrative boundaries of the new area health authorities that are set up when the National Health Service is reorganised should be the same as those of the new non-metropolitan counties, such as Avon and Wiltshire, which are established under the Local Government Bill now before Parliament. But administrative boundaries will not be barriers to the treatment of patients. General practitioners will be free to refer their patients, for general as well as specialised hospital services, to hospitals situated in different areas. This will continue present practice. There is thus no ground whatsoever for the fear that the new administrative boundaries will distort the working of the National Health Service or oblige patients to travel long distances for health services.