§ Mr. Waller
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the future of the blood laboratory at Elstree.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The blood products laboratory at Elstree is the main centre for developing blood products in England and Wales. The laboratory was built in the 1960s and requires modernisation and expansion. The first stage of modernisation is now under way. This will increase the capacity of the laboratory considerably, but not sufficiently to meet all the needs of the National Health Service in the future. We have been considering how best to develop the laboratory still further. Among a number of possibilities, we have considered bringing in commercial management. However, the blood donor service in this country is a voluntary service and we are proud of it. After exploratory discussions we have concluded that there is no place for a commercial company in the management of a service which depends on volunteer donors. There is, therefore, no question of commercial management of the blood products laboratory.