§ Mr. Pavitt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps are available to him to ensure that when a National Health Service hospital is sold and the purchaser continues to use it for medical treatment there is no drain of qualified personnel to the detriment of National Health Service services.
§ Dr. Vaughan
In general, we do not believe that the development of the private hospital sector will harm the NHS, but can, by suitable collaboration, assist the NHS. However, we recognise that particular private hospital developments might have an adverse effect on the staffing of an NHS hospital. It is to safeguard the NHS in such circumstances that we retained with amendments the controls in the Health Services Act 1976. The controls provide for authorisation by the Secretary of State of private developments of 120 beds or more or of any private developments, however small, in an area designated under section 12A of the 1976 Act. Designation is an additional control we introduced in the Health Services Act 1980.