HC Deb 15 March 1983 vol 39 cc153-4W
Mr. Eggar

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has reached a decision concerning arrangements for the family practitioner committees at present located at 1 Olympic Way, Wembley; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

Since 1974, five family practitioner committees—Barnet; Brent and Harrow;

Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow; Enfield and Haringey; and Hillingdon have been located together at 1 Olympic Way, Wembley where they share a range of common services. The arrangement has given rise to some problems including complaints from the Society of Family Practitioner Committees, the Medical Practices Committee, the general medical services committee of the British Medical Association and the Select Committee on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, and a study was commissioned by the Department in 1982.

The subsequent report recommended the relocation of the family practitioner committees to their administrative areas and the introduction of computer systems either on an individual or bureau basis. The report was the subject of intensive local consultation and I recently visited Wembley to see the situation for myself.

The consultations demonstrated very strong support for the relocation of the family practitioner committees and the installation of individual mini-computers, and I have decided that this proposal should be implemented. Responsibility for the administrative arrangements of family practitioner committees currently rests with the health authorities, and they will shortly be considering in consultation with the family practitioner committees and staff interests how the change is to be brought about as swiftly and smoothly as possible.