§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate what percentage of hospital catering and cleaning services are now handled by private contractors; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
In 1980–81 contracts with private companies accounted for the following percentages of authorities' expenditure in England on catering and domestic—cleaning services:
Catering-0.31 per cent. Domestic-Cleaning-2.54 per cent.
Health authorities have the option to put a wide range of services out to contract, and it is for individual authorities to decide in the light of local needs and circumstances which work should be put out to contract.