HC Deb 06 March 1981 vol 1000 cc208-9W
Mr. Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is able to announce the future administrative structure for health services in the Wessex region.

Dr. Vaughan

I am pleased to be able to announce that my right hon. Friend has agreed the recommendation made by the Wessex regional health authority for restructuring the National Health Service within Wessex. Subject to the necessary order being made in due course, the following district health authorities will be established in Wessex:

Resident population
West Dorset 186,000
East Dorset 399,000
Southampton 413,000
Portsmouth 519,000
Winchester 195,000
Basingstoke 196,000
Swindon 216,000
Salisbury 126,000
Bath 382,000
Isle of Wight 112,000

The boundaries will be the same as those of present health districts within Wessex. These changes will mean that the present four area authorities and ten districts will be replaced by the ten new district authorities. This is a major move towards achieving a more local streamlined service. While this establishes the number and size of the new district authorities, the details of membership and when the authorities will come into operation are yet to be settled.