§ Mr. Freeson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if it remains his policy that each individual health district, including inner city districts, will retain the full benefit of its cost improvement programme.
§ Mr. Whitney
It remains our policy that the benefit of cost improvement programmes should be retained locally. The detailed application of this policy is a matter for regional and district heath authorities. In some cases individual districts retain the full benefit of their cost improvements; in others, for example, regions may require districts to contribute an agreed level of cash-releasing cost improvements to a regional development fund for redistribution, but allow them to retain all cost improvements achieved over and above this level.