§ Mr.Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what222W
Sussex Area Health Authority on 30th September 1977, the latest date for which figures are available centrally.
§ Mr.Peter Morrison
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases are now awaiting admission to hospitals in the Merseyside region and in the Cheshire area health authority; how long they have been waiting; and if he will give the corresponding figures for February and June 1974.
§ Mr.Peter Morrison
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many urgent cases are awaiting admission to hospitals within the Cheshire area health authority; how long they have been waiting; and if he will state figures for the individual hospitals of the area.
Following is the information:
research he undertook into public attitudes towards drug therapies before launching his campaign to cut prescribing costs in the National Health Service;
(2) what reactions from doctors and from the public he has had to his campaign to cut prescribing costs in the National Health Service; and if he will make a statement.
I presume that the right hon. Gentleman is referring to the joint announcement which the Chairman of Council of the British Medical Association and my right hon. Friend issued jointly on 19th April last, and a copy of 223W which is in the Library. This announcement represents more than a campaign to cut costs: it is a notable agreement on a matter of concern both to the profession and to the Government—namely the rising patient expectation and consumption of National Health Service facilities including, particularly, pharmaceutical products. The joint announcement expresses anxiety for the long-term health of the nation if these tendencies persist and draws the attention of doctors and patients alike to ways in which health resources can be better utilised.
My Department has received some 35 letters from doctors and members of the public about the announcement, many of which, while recognising the need for more care in the way resources are used, express concern that nothing should be encouraged which would be to the patient's detriment. On that they have our assurance.
No specific studies of public attitudes were conducted. The joint announcement reflects doctors' concern springing from their day-to-day experience and expressed to my Department both by individual doctors and by the profession's representatives in the course of the discussions which preceded the announcement.