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Laboratory Services

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many general practitioner fund-holding practices have chosen to use non-accredited laboratory services; and if he will provide a breakdown by regional health authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total level of gross expenditure in Scotland for 1988–89 to 1992–93 and the estimated gross expenditure for 1993–94 on fund holding for general practitioners; what was the component assigned to laboratory services at constant prices; and if he will provide a breakdown by regional health authority.

There were no operational fund holders in Scotland prior to 1991–92. In that year, gross expenditure by general practitioner fund holders was £8·19 million.Details of gross expenditure for 1992–93 are not yet available as the audit of annual accounts for that period has not yet been completed. Estimates of gross expenditure for 1993–94 cannot be given at this stage due to the possibility of further fund holders joining the scheme in mid year. Information on the element of this gross expenditure assigned to laboratory services is not available centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what powers he has, and what further steps he is taking, to enforce quality standards on laboratory services in line with the recommendations provided by the Scottish Home and Health Department to regional health authorities; and if he will make a statement;(2) what information he has on laboratory services in Scotland which are not accredited with CPA (UK) Ltd.; and if he will list them by regional health authority;(3) which of the regional health authorities have external quality assurance checks for cervical screening; and what percentage of cervical examinations are subject to such external quality assurance checks;(4) what was the total gross expenditure in Scotland for 1988–89 to 1991–92 on national external quality assurance schemes for laboratory tests; and how much expenditure was incurred within each regional health authority;(5) what steps he is taking to ensure that all laboratory tests for cervical screening are subject to external quality assurance checks;(6) what is the total gross expenditure for 1992–93 on

(a) cervical screening and (b) external quality assurance checks for cervical screening; and if he will provide a breakdown by regional health authority;

(7) what guidance is offered by the Scottish Home and Health Department to regional health authorities regarding the quality standards of providers of laboratory services; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial allocations he has made to health boards for general practitioners fund holding for laboratory services at constant prices for 1993–94; and if he will provide a breakdown by regional health authority.

The allocation of financial hospital and community health services, including laboratory services, to fund-holding general practices is a matter for the relevant health board. This finance comes from their general allocation for hospital and community health services.No information on the portion of the fund holder's allocation from the board attributable to laboratory services is available centrally.