HC Deb 07 July 1981 vol 8 cc97-8W
14. Mr. Haynes

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has issued any guidelines to area health authorities on the provision of emergency beds for private patients.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Health authorities were advised in Department of Health and Social Security circular HC(80)10 that applications could be made to the Secretary of State for authorisation of pay beds for emergency admissions. Health authorities may not provide these beds in the absence of the Secretary of State's statutory authorisation.

39. Mr. John Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether there are any outstanding requests from area health authorities for the approval of emergency beds for private patients.

(Calendar Year) 1979 £ million 1980 £ million 1981 £ million
Other operators (from February 1981) 0.1 0.9
Total (approx) 4.8 7.5 9.5

Actual outturn may vary slightly from these levels, but at a time of falling expenditure elsewhere the Government have increased in real terms the support being given in this way to island communities.

As far as road equivalent tariffs are concerned, the right hon. Member will be aware that the responses to our consultative paper on sea transport to the Scottish islands produced a range of widely differing views. The Western Isles Islands Council, among others, pointed out that a strict application of RET would be contrary to its interests. In the circumstances it has taken longer than anticipated for the Government to make an announcement.