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Nhs (Competitive Tendering)

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 22 February to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell), Official Report, column 874, if he will make a statement on his decision not to promote any further central initiatives for additional specific NHS services to be subject to mandatory competitive tendering.

NHS accounts show that more than 40 per cent. of support services in the NHS, other than those involved in direct provision of patient care, are already routinely subject to competitive tendering or other forms of regular market testing. The White Paper "Working for Patients" provides a framework within which health authorities can widen the scope for competition across an even wider range of support services in future to ensure value for money and release of resources for improved patient care. The selection and grouping of services for testing, and the specification of requirements are matters best left to local decision.