§ Mr. Waldegrave
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what further decisions he is able to announce about the future administrative structure for health services; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I am pleased to be able to announce that my right hon. Friend has made decisions on the recommendations of the South-Western regional health authority for restructuring the National Health Service within its region. Subject to the necessary orders being made in due course, the following district health authorities will be established in the South-Western region, and will come into being on 1 April 1982.
Resident Population (000s) North Devon 125 Exeter 286 Torbay 215 Plymouth 326 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 419 Gloucester 293 Cheltenham 204 Bristol and Weston 364 Frenchay 210 Southmead 221 Somerset 366
These changes will mean that the present five area authorities and 10 districts will be replaced by 11 new district health authorities. We are satisfied that, contrary to the recommendation of South-Western RHA, two district health authorities in Gloucestershire will provide a structure more akin to the philosophies set out in "Patients First".
Exceptionally, we have also decided that, contrary to the normal pattern of one community health council per district health authority, the Isles of Scilly should retain a suitably-sized community health council. We are also minded to retain the Weston-Super-Mare community health council.