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Private Medical Projects

Volume 129: debated on Friday 18 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what factors of medical policy are considered by the Scottish Development Agency when considering financial support for private medical projects.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The agency undertakes consultation with appropriate interests in considering support for any private medical project. If consultations bring out factors of medical policy then these are considered by the agency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give the number of staff in the Scottish Development Agency, and their numbers, currently involved in the consideration of private medical projects.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The numbers of agency staff, and their allocation among divisions, are given in the agency's annual report which is laid before Parliament each year. The staff in post, as at 31 March 1987, was 683.No members of the agency's staff are employed solely in the consideration of private medical projects such as nursing or other homes for the elderly. Staff in the agency deal with such projects as and when appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the private medical projects currently being considered by the Scottish Development Agency for financial assistance, giving the companies involved and the level of assistance.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, I am unable to provide this information. The number of private medical projects currently being considered by the agency is eight. These comprise projects where one or more medically qualified staff are involved in providing health care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if, when considering financial support to private medicine, he takes into consideration the equivalent number of jobs and quality of health care that could be provided in the National Health Service for a similar investment.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: No. Applications for financial assistance in respect of health care projects are assessed in terms of any relevant statutory provisions — for example, the Industry Acts — and against the criteria appropriate to the form of assistance applied for.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who are the Scottish Development Agency's medical advisers concerned with private medical projects.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The Scottish Development Agency health care division provides in-house expertise in the evaluation of health care projects. Where necessary, this expertise is supplemented by the provision of advice from specialists who are consulted, in confidence, on a case by case basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance has been given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987; what individuals or companies were involved and what non-financial assistance was provided.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The financial support given by the Scottish Development Agency to the setting up of private homes or hospitals for the elderly in each of the years 1983 to 1987 was as follows:

YearAssistance givenNumber1
£
1983–84101,5003
1984–8590,0002
1985–86139,0004
1986–87180,0004
1987–88
1 Companies-individuals assisted.
In each case the information relates to the Agency's Financial Year (ending 31 March).The projects identified in the table comprise nursing or residential homes where one or more medically qualified staff are involved. Financial support was provided by way of loan and-or equity as appropriate.For reasons of commercial confidentiality the names of individuals or companies assisted cannot be given.In all cases the Scottish Development Agency's full range of business development advisory services was made available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the guidelines within which the Scottish Development Agency considers requests for financial or other forms of assistance from private health care projects.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: Private health care projects are considered for financial or other forms of assistance by the Scottish Development Agency in exactly the same manner as projects in other business sectors. Projects are evaluated in terms of market demand, any relevant technical factors and the skills and experience of those engaged in management. Where investment or other forms of financial assistance are being considered, a financial appraisal is also undertaken. Investments are made under financial guidelines set jointly by the Secretary of State and the Treasury, with the agency board having delegated authority of up to £1 million or 30 per cent. of equity, whichever is the lower. Any investment proposed outside the guidelines has to be approved on a case by case basis by the Scottish Office.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will set out in the Official Report the employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency when assessing private health care projects.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: The employment creation criteria used by the Scottish Development Agency in assessing private health care projects are no different from those used in assessing projects in other areas of business activity. The agency takes into account the additional earnings generated both directly by the project and elsewhere within the Scottish economy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which of his Departments is consulted about Scottish Development Agency support for private medical schemes; and which Department accepts final responsibility for approval.

[holding answer 22 February 1988]: Within the limits of the agency's delegated authority, consultation in respect of any particular project is a matter for the agency's own discretion. Out with these limits, the Industry Department for Scotland is responsible (in consultation with the Scottish Home and Health Department) for approval of agency involvement in such projects.