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Health Authorities

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy as to whether the nine health authorities in Wales should continue to cover their present geographical areas during and after the implementation of the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

My right hon. Friend has no current proposals to alter the geographical responsibilities of the existing health authorities but the position will be kept under review in light of the provisions of the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, including those for self-governing status.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy to issue a directive to health authorities in Wales directing that when a patient at a National Health Service hospital needs to be transferred to another hospital within the same area for treatment or examination, the authority shall bear the responsibility and cost of transport for that transfer.

This is an operational matter for the district health authorities, which decide on the advice of the patient's clinician, the transport which is appropriate to the patient's needs.