Torbay

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Services – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th January 1988.

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Photo of Anthony Steen Anthony Steen , South Hams 12:00 am, 12th January 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange to meet the chairman of Torbay health authority to discuss health services in Torbay.

Photo of Mrs Edwina Currie Mrs Edwina Currie , South Derbyshire

I am hoping to visit Devon later this year, but details have not yet been finalised.

Photo of Anthony Steen Anthony Steen , South Hams

When my hon. Friend goes to Torbay, will she congratulate the chairman of Torbay health authority, which has one of the highest bed occupancies in the country? The average length of in-patient stay is one of the shortest, and the cost is among the lowest in Britain. Will my hon. Friend also explain to the chairman how he is supposed to manage to run the health authority when the increase in funding this year has been 6.8 per cent., whereas the national wage increase has already been agreed at 8.4 per cent.? The authority cannot make ends meet.

Photo of Mrs Edwina Currie Mrs Edwina Currie , South Derbyshire

I understand that Torbay has one of the highest growth rates in allocation of money in the region. I note my hon. Friend's comments and will bear them in mind. However, I would say that the authority is showing other health authorities how to make ends meet. Results are what matter. I note with interest, for example, that the waiting time for hip joint replacement operations is 22 weeks in Torbay and six weeks in Newton Abbot.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

On her way to Torbay, I wonder whether my hon. Friend will—