HC Deb 16 April 1991 vol 189 cc147-8W
Mr. Roger King

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence he has of pressure being put on employees against participating in the formation of NHS trusts.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

My right hon. Friend has written recently to the right hon. Member for Islwyn (Mr. Kinnock) about a letter issued by the hon. Members for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Nellist) and Coventry, North-East (Mr. Hughes), to the manager of a hospital which is in the process of applying for NHS trust status. The letter effectively threatened him with dismissal unless he agreed to withdraw the application. I am pleased to say that the right hon. Member for Islwyn dissociated himself from these bullying tactics and I hope that the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) will do likewise.

Mr. David Martin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his assessment of how NHS trusts will improve the local nature of the health service.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

NHS trusts will be better able to respond to patients' needs through greater freedoms and flexibility. They will also encourage greater local involvement and pride.

Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress towards establishment of NHS trust hospitals.

Mr. Waldegrave

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Feltham and Heston (Mr. Ground) earlier today.