NHS Trusts and GP Fund Holders

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29 March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Ian Bruce Mr Ian Bruce , South Dorset 12:00, 29 March 1993

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many NHS trusts and fund-holding general practitioner practices have been set up in Wales.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

From Thursday of this week, there will be 14 national health service trusts in Wales and 74 general practitioner fund holders.

Photo of Mr Ian Bruce Mr Ian Bruce , South Dorset

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer which reveals a large increase, on 1 April, on last year's figures. Is the experience in Wales similar to that in Dorset, where people of all political parties and none are now coming together to say that trust hospitals are a success? Is that the experience in the Principality? Will my hon. Friend be able to come to the Dispatch Box soon and tell us that there are 100 per cent. trust hospitals in Wales, as there are in Dorset?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

My hon. Friend is right. The expansion is significant. We have only one NHS trust at the moment, but there will be 14 on Thursday and 48 more GP fund holders. That is real progress and real devolution in respect of taking decision making as close as possible to patients. About two thirds of the NHS in Wales will be in trust status and I look to the further progress that that will represent.

Photo of Mr Gareth Wardell Mr Gareth Wardell , Gower

With regard to GP fund holders, what criteria will they use when rationing, so that their patients know exactly how such decisions are made?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

I do not think that that question applies, because there is no question of rationing. The constant scares that fund-holders will somehow run out of money are not correct. That will not happen. If there were to be any deterioration in respect of the situation of a GP fund holder, the fund-holding situation would be withdrawn in the interests of the patient.