§ Mr. Sackville
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he intends to introduce any changes to the system for setting pay bed charges; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
Following extensive consultations, we have decided that the function of determining charges for private in-patients, private out-patients and amenity beds in National Health Service hospitals should be delegated to district and special health authorities. Regulations will be laid shortly to make this effective from 1 April 1987. Authorities will be able to choose whether to set their own charges, or to use rates produced centrally.
Those authorities which opt to set their own charges will be expected to do so to recover their costs, taking account of the recent recommendations of the Committee of Public Accounts decisions on the level of the centrally produced rates which will take account of these recommendations will be announced in due course.