§ Mr. Sweeney
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the development of the NHS trusts in Wales.
§ Mr. Richards
There are currently 24 operational NHS trusts in Wales and I announced on 16 January that we were establishing a further three trusts with an operational date of 1 April 1995.
Additionally, public consultation on applications received from the University hospital of Wales and Cardiff Royal Group and the West Glamorgan east unit—Neath and Port Talbot—and district service unit has now ended. In the light of representation received, and taking account of the individual merits of both applications, my right hon. Friend and I have decided to establish these units as NHS trusts to become operational from April 1995 and April 1996 respectively.
The orders giving the effect on these decisions have been signed today.
My right hon. Friend and I are satisfied that the new University hospital of Wales healthcare NHS trust can 454W become fully operational on 1 April 1995. However, we have always made it clear that we will only appose full trust status when management at a trust can concentrate on improving patient care, our key criterion for agreeing trust status. My right hon. Friend and I have therefore decided to approve trust status for the new Glan-y-Mor NHS trust to become fully operational on 1 April 1996.
During the intervening period, when the trust will run in shadow form and undertake a limited number of functions of a fully operational trust, the new trust will be able to complete the integration of the West Glamorgan east unit and district services unit and make further progress on the development of the new Baglan hospital.
We will announce shortly details on chairmen and non-executive directors for the new NHS trusts.