§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, under his proposals for the National Health502W
Service announced on 31 January, he will make it his policy to allow the local community to have a vote prior to a hospital with more than 250 beds deciding to operate on an independent basis.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The White Paper published on 31 January outlines plans for self-governing hospitals within the NHS. Proposals will be given local publicity but I see no merit in making management changes within the NHS subject to a vote by the residents of a particular locality.