The Department does not routinely collect and hold centrally operational management information on proposals to close wards or change staffing levels. Such decisions are for trusts to determine in partnership with local stakeholders. This Government have given local authority overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs) the power to review and scrutinise health services from the perspective of their local populations. National health service bodies are under a duty to consult OSCs on any plans to make substantial variation to NHS services. Those committees have the powers to refer any proposal to the Secretary of State if they believe the plans are not in the interests of the health service.
The Department makes revenue allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs), but not to national health service mental health trusts. Allocations were first made to PCTs in 2003-04, but prior to this funding was allocated to health authorities.
Details of revenue allocations to PCTs for 2003-04 to 2005-06 and 2006-07 to 2007-08 have been placed in the Library.
The information requested is not held centrally.
The Department does not routinely assess waiting times for mental health services in any locality, including Barnet, because waiting time targets only apply to consultant-led services. This includes consultant-led mental health services. However, in mental health, referrals are usually made to the care of a multi-disciplinary team such as the local community mental health team rather than individual consultants. Therefore, the current waiting time targets are not robust indicators of access to mental health services, many of which take place outside the hospital setting.