§ Mr. Flannery
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which persons or bodies may initiate the process to apply for the self-government of a hospital; and what measures are taken to seek to obtain the opinion of the majority of those affected by a decision to make an application.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Initial expressions of interest in NHS trust status may be made by any individual or group with links with an NHS unit. When applications for NHS trust status are submitted, following parliamentary approval of the necessary legislation, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State will direct regional health authorities to consult such other bodies as the authority considers appropriate in addition to community health councils. In all cases this should include health authorities, staff, patients, GPs and the local community as well as other groups with a particular interest in the application.