§ Mr. Arnold
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to expand the rôle of voluntary services within the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Moyle
We are continuing to encourage the growth of voluntary services within the National Health Service and the other fields of my Department's responsibility. To this end, the total provision for grants to voluntary organisations in England in the health and social services fields under Section 64 of the Health Service and Public Health Act 1968 was increased from £3.15 million in 1976–77 to £5 million in 1977–78. In addition, since April 1974 the power to make grants to local voluntary projects in the health field has been delegated to regional and area health authorities.
The Department has also encouraged health authorities to establish links with local voluntary organisations and to employ staff to promote the greater use of individual volunteers.