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Primary Care Trusts: Local Government

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the likely impact of implementing district unitary authorities on the operation of primary care trusts; (146457)

(2) what assessment she has made of the impact of the bids of local authorities shortlisted for unitary status on health provision in those areas;

(3) what discussions she had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the local authorities seeking unitary status which appeared on the shortlist published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 27 March 2006.

The decision as to which proposals should proceed to stakeholder consultation reflected the collective decision of Government. All 26 unitary proposals that were received in response to the invitation issued on 26 October 2006 were assessed against the five criteria set out in that invitation. The 16 unitary proposals that have been subject to the stakeholder consultation will now be reassessed against the same five criteria having regard to all the information available including that received in response the consultation. Primary care trusts, along with a range of public bodies, have been able to submit their views as part of the stakeholder consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her policy is on co-terminosity of boundaries between primary care trusts and local government structures. (146460)

We are committed to enabling local authorities and their partners in the national health service to work together to deliver better integrated health and social care services. One of the aims of the reconfiguration programme ‘Commissioning a Patient-led NHS’, which was published in July 2005, was to improve relationships between healthcare and local authorities by bringing their boundaries closer together. Approximately 70 per cent. of the new primary care trusts (PCTs) are coterminous with the boundaries of local authorities with social services responsibilities. This compares with 44 per cent. of PCTs previously coterminous.