HC Deb 22 November 1977 vol 939 cc668-9W
65. Mr. Hurd

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received about the financial difficulties facing the hospital service in Oxfordshire; and what reply has been given.

Mr. Moyle

I have received many representations from hon. Members, from health authorities and from the general public. Although the current year's financial allocation to the Oxford region is higher than the level for the country as a whole, acute short-term problems have arisen in some areas due to overspending of their notified cash limits. I have made it clear that the situation must be rectified. The longer-term outlook for the region is favourable, as the resources made available for provision of health services increase in keeping with the growing population. It is important that the opportunities for future development of services are not prejudiced by failure to keep expenditure under control in the short term.

At a meeting I had with the chairmen of the health authorities in the region on 3rd November, I asked them to submit to me by mid-December a report setting out the steps they propose to take to bring finances under control within an outline strategy for development of services in the region, showing how they will bring into use new hospital facilities now under construction and being planned.