HC Deb 19 December 2001 vol 377 c443W
Dr. Fox

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts he expects to create under the NHS Reform Bill. [20896]

Mr. Hutton

None. The National Health Service Reform Bill will not create any further primary care trusts but will enable increased functions to be devolved from health authorities in line with the principles of Shifting the Balance of Power.

The power to create PCTs is contained in the National Health Service (Primary Care) Act, 1997. There are currently 164 PCTs in operation with a further 23 having been approved in October 2001 to become operational in April 2002. Approximately 130 further PCTs are hoping to become operational from 1 April 2002. The estimated total of PCTs operating from 1 April 2002 is expected to be over 300.