asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consultations he intends to seek with trade union members representing hospital ancillary workers and cleaners and with chairmen of district and regional health authorities to discuss the progress made in improving National Health Service hospitals' standards resulting from contracting-out of services to private firms.
I am quite satisfied that health authorities are ensuring that satisfactory standards are maintained. I see no point in national consultations on the subject.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many managing contractors are engaged by district health authorities to operate laundry, catering and other ancillary services; and how many consortia of private firms are used to operate a range of services.
I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 5 March at columns 520–21.