§ 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.