§ Mr. Peter Mills
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the policy of his Department regarding assistance by district health authorities in maintaining new hospitals for which the buildings are provided by local funds.
§ Dr. Vaughan
It is a well-established practice for local voluntary groups to raise funds to help provide additional facilities for their local health service such as new buildings or items of equipment. These are then handed over to the health authority who provide the running costs, including any maintenance. We welcome these local initiatives and would like to see them extended. We198W would also like to see voluntary organisations raising money for running costs whenever possible. Close consultation between the local groups and the authority is essential to ensure that the proposed facilities are needed. The Health Services Bill includes a provision which will allow health authorities to involve themselves directly in voluntary fund-raising.