§ 61. Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made by those hospitals which have expressed an interest in becoming National Health Service self-governing hospitals.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
A total of 188 units have expressed interest in NHS trust status. In the reply that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) on 3 November at columns389–90 he indicated that 79 units currently intended to prepare draft applications for NHS trust status in 1991. This remains the situation. The decision on whether or not to prepare a formal application for NHS trust status is a matter for the sponsors of the expression of interest in the unit concerned. Applications will not be invited until Parliament has approved the necessary legislation.