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Hospital Services (Tendering)

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will give details of all contracts awarded in the first and second round of National Health Service competitive tendering by each district health authority, by hospital, for (a) cleaning, (b) catering, (c) laundry, (d) portering, (e) other ancillary services and (f) other National Health Service services;(2) if he will give the latest figures as a percentage of services put out to tender by each district health authority for

(a) cleaning, (b) catering, (c) laundry, (d) portering, (e) other ancillary services and (f) other National Health Service services; and if he will give estimated annual savings.

Information collected centrally in the form requested relates to the national initiative on domestic, catering and laundry services and for the first round only. A table giving information on tender exercises in this round in the period October 1988 to 30 September 1989 has been placed in the Library to update earlier published information. We do not propose to collect similar information centrally for these services in the next round of tendering, or for other services, ancillary or otherwise on the basis that the choice of new services to be tendered is a matter for local determination based on value for money and local circumstances. Many health authorities, as a matter of routine, and of their own accord, are looking to combine ancillary services in various packages before tendering and also extending the process to other services. We encourage such developments and to maximise flexibility will only collect aggregate information on progress as part of the cost improvement programme.Savings to date achieved by health authorities in England for the three services covered by the national initiative are £110 million. For 1989–90 authorities plan new additional cost improvement savings through competitive tendering for services, of almost £10 million.