HC Deb 15 December 1989 vol 163 c841W
Mr. Bernie Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) at what stage there will be consultation with(a) staff, (b) users and (c) the wider community regarding his decision to allow the North Middlesex hospital to opt out of the National Health Service;

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that residents of Tottenham will continue to get a service from the North Middlesex hospital after it has opted out;

(3) what estimate he has made of the knock-on effect when the North Middlesex hospital opts out of the National Health Service on the resources to be allocated to St. Ann's hospital;

(4) what information he has as to the policy of Haringey health authority on self-governing status for its hospitals;

(5) what is his policy with regard to the entertaining of applications for self-governing status from hospitals within district health authorities which have voted against the promotion of such applications;

(6) whether he has received any indications of interest in self-governing status for the North Middlesex hospital.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

One hundred and eighty-eight units, including North Middlesex hospital, have expressed interest in National Health Service trust status. There is no question of any hospital "opting out" of the National Health Service. Haringey health authority will be responsible for planning and securing a comprehensive range of services to meet the health care needs of its resident population. In doing this it will contract with a range of service providers, including National Health Service trusts. The revenue funding of individual hospitals such as North Middlesex and St. Ann's will be determined in the main by the service contracts they secure with health authorities.

The decision on whether to submit a formal application for National Health Service trust status, when Parliament has approved the necessary legislation, is a matter for the sponsors of the expression of interest in the unit concerned. We have had no representations from Haringey health authority. When formal applications are prepared, regional health authorities will ensure that they are given local publicity and will seek the views of all those with an interest, including health authorities, staff, patients, general practitioners, community health councils and the local community. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State will consider these views alongside the application, before deciding whether to approve it.

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