§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance has been issued concerning public consultation over the proposed locations of the headquarters of the new strategic health authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 4 March 2002]: The location of new health authority headquarters is regarded as a matter for the chairman (designate) and chief executive (designate) of those authorities to determine. As part of the consultation on health authority boundaries held last autumn, the Department advised that option appraisals should be conducted for appropriate national health service and Government Office for the regions accommodation available within the area. Decisions will have been made in the light of these appraisals.