§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has received requests for further consultation following the consultative letter on general management 234W at unit level in the Scottish Health Service issued by the Scottish Home and Health Department on 8 July 1985; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rifkind
More than 60 comments have been received in response to the Department's letter. A number of health boards and several of the professional organisations requested further opportunities for comment following the conclusion of the study of unit management which the Department commissioned from Coopers and Lybrand Associates.
In order to give those who will be most effected by future developments in general management a further opportunity to discuss and contribute to those developments, I have decided that it would be useful to have a further period of consultation. When the Coopers and Lybrand study is concluded, the Scottish Home and Health Department will prepare and issue for comment a draft circular of guidance on the development of unit general management. This will be based on the report of the Coopers and Lybrand study and on the responses to the consultative letter of 8 July 1985. A summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations from the Coopers and Lybrand study, prepared by the company, will accompany the draft circular. The full report of the study will not be an appropriate document for public consultation as it will contain material confidential to the four health boards which are participating in the study. I expect the draft circular and summary to be issued for comment in early May and, in order to avoid unnecessary delay and uncertainty about future developments, comments will be requested by mid July.
Ministers will consider the results of this further consultation in the course of the summer and final guidance on general management at unit level will be issued in time for health boards to plan implementation following the holiday period.