To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about the operation of the cost rent scheme for doctors' surgeries.
We have received one formal representation about the operation of the cost rent scheme.
Will my hon. Friend issue guidelines to family practitioner committees to avoid the difficulty under the cost rent scheme when permission for a new doctor's surgery is first given and later withdrawn?
My hon. Friend has a constituency case on which he has made diligent and persistent representations. I assure him that in his FPC area 63 schemes out of 86 practices have been approved. A letter was sent to FPCs six months before the new system started, and in the current statement of fees and allowances clear guidance is again given. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will respond to my hon. Friend on his constituency case in the near future.