HC Deb 13 May 1976 vol 911 cc239-40W
Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to see that the growth of population in new and expanding towns such as Peterborough is matched by a corresponding growth in the provision of hospitals and other health facilities.

Dr. Owen

Population—and, as regards capital for new schemes, projected population—is the main factor determining the distribution of resources by my Department to the regional health authorities in England. The regional authorities know that I expect them to apply similar principles, as far as practicable, in allocating resources within their regions and to give priority to schemes needed to remedy absolute and major gaps in services which cannot be met by other means.

The needs and priorities of new and expanding towns must be judged against those of other parts of the country which may be, in terms of health provision, severely deprived.