§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consultations he has had with the intermediate treatment fund concerning the reduced funding announced in his Department's letters of 12 April 1990 and 18 July 1991;
(2) what representations he has received concerning the reduction of funding from his Department to the intermediate treatment fund.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
In addition to representations made by the intermediate treatment fund itself, 37 letters have been received from voluntary organisations expressing support for the work of the fund. I met the chairman and representatives of the members and officers of the intermediate treatment fund on 6 March 1991 to discuss funding arrangements and have offered a further meeting early in the autumn of 1992 to review the matter in the light of the fund's progress in securing alternative sources of funding to meet its core costs.
The original agreement between the Department and the Rainer Foundation to establish the intermediate 89W treatment fund in 1978 include a Government commitment of three years financial support. In practice we will have consistently grant-aided the fund for 15 years when our current three-year grant totalling just over £1 million expires in March 1993. During that period local authorities have increased their expenditure on intermediate treatment from £3 million in 1978–79 to some £36 million in 1990–91. In addition the fund has become increasingly successful in securing additional funds for intermediate treatment projects from non-Government sources.
Resources for supporting the voluntary sector have increased considerably in recent years. But the calls on them to provide "start-up" support for promising innovations have also increased. This, combined with the fund's established success in all its objectives and the substantial increase in local authority spending in this area justifies the phasing down of our direct financial support, so that other ventures can benefit as the fund itself has done.