(2) what funds have been allocated to compensate contractors involved in the provision of independent sector treatment centres for proposed treatment centres which will now not proceed.
[holding answer 26 November 2007]: There are 23 fixed site wave 1 independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) in operation and six walk-in centres with a commuter focus. There is also a mobile ophthalmology service, a mobile MRI scanning service and a chlamydia screening service in Greater London for 16 to 24-year-olds. Five phase 2 ISTC schemes are operational, three offering elective procedures and two offering diagnostics. This includes the West Midlands diagnostics scheme which will stop providing services in February 2008. Through phase 2, services are currently being delivered through 103 fixed and mobile sites (including interim site solutions) and it is expected that an additional 13 sites will come on-stream in the coming months.
Three phase 2 schemes have been approved to move to financial close and a further seven are in procurement. Services are expected to be delivered from a number of sites, which provide greater accessibility for patients, through phase 2 schemes in procurement. As part of the mobilisation process, through wave one there are two ISTC sites and through phase 2 there are three ISTC sites which are currently under construction.
At the end of October 2007, the cost of the procurement of wave 1 and phase 2 was approximately £157 million including all assessment, scoping, procurement and associated management, professional advisory and support costs. This figure includes the cost incurred during 2007-08 (to date) of £11 million.
The Department will conclude decisions on the remaining schemes by the end of March 2008. At this stage, in terms of year by year spend in establishing (procuring, mobilising and managing) the phase 2 ISTCs schemes in procurement, it is not possible to break down the costs further, as budgets have not been agreed for coming years.
The Department will work with preferred bidders in a systematic way to consider any compensation claims that may be brought on a case by case basis, with regard to withdrawn schemes. No specific funds are allocated for this, however, the overall budget does include general contingencies for unforeseen events.