§ Mr. Alan Keen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial assistance he gives to NHS trusts that are undertaking reconfiguration of patient services, approved by him, towards the cost of(a) redundancy and retirement and (b) capital building costs. 
§ Mr. Denham
A central special assistance fund has existed since 1996–97. It provides financial assistance to some health authorities to facilitate strategic change, such as reconfiguring patient services at NHS trusts. Special assistance helps fund some of the short-term non-recurrent costs of change, for example double running or redundancy costs. Within London, the London Fund also provides non-recurrent transitional funding to support strategic changes.
Capital funding is approved on the basis of information contained in a business case which is considered by regional offices. Access to funding is dependent on competing investment priorities in the region.