§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the answer of 23 May,Official Report, column 93, whether health authorities may lease hospitals on a permanent basis to the private sector.
§ Mrs. Currie
At present, when a health authority does not envisage any further use for a National Health Service property it is required to dispose of the freehold. Exceptionally, a long-term lease may be granted, but only where there are strong reasons in the public interest for doing so.