(2) what stage has been reached in the development of the proposed NHS card referred to in section 2.21 of the NHS Improvement Plan, published on 24 June 2004;
(3) with reference to the Answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 439W, on the European Health Insurance Card, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on links between (a) an NHS card and (b) Connecting for Health, and the identity cards programme.
It is too early in the process to make any conclusions of the costs and benefits of using identity cards within the national health service.
There are no current plans to introduce an NHS card, although this will be kept under review.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets the Home Secretary and other ministerial colleagues to discuss matters of common interest, including on occasion the National Identity Scheme.