HC Deb 22 October 1984 vol 65 c501W
Mrs. Rumbold

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what measures of deregulation his Department has achieved during the year 1983–84; and what his plans are for 1984–85.

Mr. John Patten

Opportunities for desirable measures of deregulation were taken early in the life of this Government: for example, the Health Services Act 1980 relaxed controls over the construction of private nursing homes and hospitals. In the last year we have introduced legislation to end the monopoly of opticians on the sale of spectacles and to remove restrictions on advertising. Much of the regulation for which my right hon. Friend is responsible is needed to protect the public — for example, against unsafe medicines. We shall, however, continue to look for further opportunities for deregulation where desirable.