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Health Services (London)

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to improve the arrangements for planning health services in London.

Regional health authorities and area health authorities are responsible for the formulation of comprehensive plans for the provision of health services within the territories they serve. Experience has shown, however, that there are a number of major issues, particularly in London, which cannot be resolved by authorities acting alone or jointly and which require study and consideration within the context of London as a whole.My right hon. Friend therefore approved the establishment, at the beginning of this year of a London Health Planning Consortium to identify planning issues relating to health services and clinical teaching in London as a whole; to decide how, by whom and with what priority they should be studied; to evaluate planning options and make recommendations to other bodies as appropriate; and to recommend means of co-ordinating planning by health and academic authorities in London.The consoritum consists of representatives of the University Grants Committee and the University of London and officers of the four Thames regional health authorities and my Department. It does not have any decision-making or executive functions. The responsibility for formal consultation with interested parties and for decisions on the recommendations of the consortium will remain with Ministers and the statutory health and academic authorities as appropriate.