HC Deb 04 November 1968 vol 772 cc451-2
2. Mr. Peter Mills

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the contract system of buying raw food materials in our hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ennals:

The contract arrangements for raw foods vary between hospital authorities. Purchasing prac- tices will be reviewed as part of the general reorganisation of hospital supply arrangements now being planned.

Mr. Mills:

Surely the Minister will agree that large-scale contract buying can produce lower quality food when it is purchased. Does the Minister agree that a catering officer is the proper person to deal with this problem and to buy particular food for particular hospitals?

Mr. Ennals:

There already is consultation between supply officers and catering officers. There is no doubt that we get more value for money when certain commodities can be bulk purchased. This is so far proving to be very satisfactory. As I said, we are looking at the extension of this practice in other directions.