HC Deb 26 January 1988 vol 126 cc214-5W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to encourage the establishment of general practices in the inner cities.

Mr. Newton

The Government encourage the development of general practice in the inner cities mainly through payment of enhanced rates of improvement grant for practice premises and through the medical practices committee which takes into account the special needs of the inner cities in its control of the distribution of general practitioners throughout the country. In addition, resources have been made available to encourage GPs to form group practices.

Proposals in the White Paper "Promoting Better Health" (Cm. 249), published last November, are designed to further improve general practice in the inner cities. These include relating the distribution of doctors more closely to medical and social needs; the introduction of new allowances especially related to working in areas of deprivation; increasing the assistance available to doctors in improvement grants and under the cost rent scheme; and strengthening the role of family practitioner committees generally.