§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the cost to health boards in Scotland in redundancy payments to staff who are displaced by the introduction of privatisation of certain functions in the hospital service.
§ Mr. John MacKay
We propose to ask health boards, when comparing costs between in-house and commercial tenders, to assess carefully the long-term financial implications of contracting out support services by taking into account the full cost of any redundancy payments. Before entering into any contract Boards will wish to ensure that the services offered by contractors are cost-effective.