§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will institute an immediate programme of education and training for senior and line management to help to identify and deal with hazards in the National Health Service;
(2) if he will advise all regional health authorities to submit to him, within the next six months, the cost implications of conforming with hygiene, hazard and pollution legislation;
(3) what steps he has taken to identify the extra costs to health authorities as a result of the abolition of Crown immunity;549W
(4) how much extra money is to be allocated to health authorities to meet their obligations when Crown immunity is abolished in their institutions;
(5) if he will give consideration to financial assistance to all health authorities which have transitional difficulties due to the abolition of Crown immunity.
§ Mr. Newton
Central guidance has been, for a number of years, that health authorities should establish working practices as if they were not immune from legal penalty. Complying with the requirements of sections 1 and 2 of the NHS (Amendment) Act 1986 should not, therefore, impose any new burdens on health authorities and we have no plans to allocate additional resources or seek reports on spending plans. Health authorities will themselves determine the need for any reordering of their priorities and the education and training requirements of their staff.