Skip to main content

Hospitals: Retail Trade

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many complaints his Department has received on prices charged in retail outlets within NHS hospitals in each of the last 12 months; (253162)

(2) what recent discussions he has had on his Department’s policy on lease of retail spaces in hospitals; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many NHS hospitals receive (a) a percentage of retail outlet revenue and (b) a flat fee when leasing space within their buildings to retailers.

Under income generation powers hospitals are able to establish and operate retail outlets that complement and extend the range of services and facilities for patients and visitors, as well as providing additional income that is re-invested directly back into local healthcare services.

The specifics of any contract and the operation of the outlets are a matter for local national health service management. The Department does not hold any records of these contracts.

There have not been any recent ministerial discussions regarding policy on the leasing of retail space in hospitals.

Income generation guidance advises that prices must conform to Fair Trading, Enterprise and Competition legislation. The Department’s records of correspondence show no instances of complaints relating to prices charged in NHS retail outlets in the last 12 months.