HC Deb 04 February 1977 vol 925 cc452-3W
Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will arrange for an independent inquiry into the cost of National Health Service laundries as requested by a number of private launderers.

Mr. Moyle

I do not consider that an inquiry of the type proposed would serve any useful purpose. In December 1976 my Department issued a circular on new management arrangements for the National Health Service laundry and linen services. Health authorites were asked to review these services with the aim of continuing the process of rationalisation. Existing guidance already requires health authorities who may be considering making new arrangements for the provision of laundry facilities to investigate the various options which may be open to them, including the use of commercial laundries, and to subject each option to economic appraisal by a recognised technique taking account of both the revenue and the capital implications of the choice. Health authorities are then expected to select the cheapest option which is compatible with other requirements, principally the need for absolute reliability of service.

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