asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider some amalgamation of the local authority maternity and child welfare services, for which he provides grants, with hospital maternity and child welfare services, for both manpower and premises.
Will my hon. Friend ask her right hon. Friend to initiate discussions with local authorities to see whether, where overlapping is taking place, some saving can be effected either to the local authority or to the Ministry?
I doubt whether saving is practicable. I wonder if my hon. Friend is confusing the maternity and child welfare service with the maternity service of hospitals. They have one thing in commons—they both provide maternity services, but local authorities provide much more—home helps, health visitors and welfare services. Where co-operation can be encouraged in the first of these maternity services, we are doing so.