§ Lord Swinfen
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What role they expect regional health authorities to play in respect of hospitals with trust status.
§ Baroness Cumberlege
On 12th May 1993 my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health announced a review of the structure, functions and manpower requirements of the National Health Service above the level of local purchasers and providers. The terms of reference for the review team, which was chaired by Ms Kate Jenkins, were to carry out an organisational analysis of the main work and functions required to ensure that the Government's reforms of the NHS are fully effected; to ensure effective oversight of purchasers and providers operating in the NHS internal market; to ensure that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State is able to discharge her statutory responsibilities for managing the NHS and to ensure that the proportion of NHS expenditure devoted to direct patient care is maximised. The review team submitted their advice at the end of July in the form of a working paper which identifies a number of options for the future organisation of NHS central and regional management. These options are now being considered carefully and an announcement about action following the review, including the preferred organisational solution, will be made shortly.