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Health And Social Service Boards

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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22.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied with the general level of service provided by the health and social service boards in Northern Ireland.

The general level of service provided compares broadly with the level of service provided elsewhere in the United Kingdom.During the current financial year the effect of cash limits has been to slow the planned development of services, but these have not been cut and, despite adverse economic pressures, have not even stood still. Site works for the new area hospital at Antrim have recently begun, a major extension of Altnagelvin hospital at Londonderry is in hand, and work on the new Belfast city hospital, which is at an advanced stage of construction, is continuing. In the community field, the current financial year should see the completion of no fewer than seven old people's homes, two day centres, three children's homes, three health centres and a programme of planned development of services for the mentally handicapped is progressing. The ever-growing needs of an ageing population and of the mentally ill and the handicapped is generating increasing demands for services, but, as the Royal Commission on the National Health Service recognised, there is a limit to the resources the Government can devote to the public sector, including the health and personal social services. Until there is an upturn in the economy, growth of public services must be held in check. For this reason I wel-

Travel to work areaEmployment service office areaTotal unemployed as at 10 January 1980Percentage unemployed
ArmaghArmagh1,53712·1
BallymenaAntrim1,74011· 3
Ballymena1,784
Magherafelt1,830
BelfastBangor1,4449·3
Belfast21,771
Carrickfergus1,273
Larne1,050
Lisburn1,679
Newtownards1,313
ColeraineBallymoney1,46913·9
Coleraine2,112
CookstownCookstown1,44323·7
CraigavonBanbridge86510·0
Lurgan1,972
Portadown1,371
DownpatrickBallynahinch42412·2
Downpatrick702
Kilkeel486
Newcastle551
DungannonDungannon2,33521·5
EnniskillenEnniskillen2,49815·4
LondonderryLimavady1,30815·7
Londonderry5,267
NewryNewry3,98821·3
OmaghOmagh1,79013·9
StrabaneStrabane2,18023·6
Northern Ireland Totals66,18211·5
The Government remain committed to an industrial development policy aimed at encouraging the creation of new employment opportunities in Northern Ireland and offer a wide range of investment incentives supported by a comprehensive training programme. Some notable successes were achieved in attracting new investment in the past year.