asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress is being made in the implementation of proposals for the redistribution of financial resources to deprived health areas within otherwise theoretically over-provided regions.
Progress is necessarily slow because the bulk of additional funds nationally is being directed to the more deprived regions. Redistribution within the better-off regions requires careful planning to ensure that rationalisation of services in the better provided areas, leading to a more equitable distribution of resources, is achieved without serious disruption. This is bound to take time. Only an improving national economy, allowing more resources to be provided for the NHS in general and the better-off regions in particular, will speed up the process.