§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, what is the number of patients on hospital waiting lists in each district of the Mersey regional health authority; and what is the length of time that urgent and non-urgent cases have to wait.
§ Mr. John Patten
The latest available information is as follows. Information on waiting time at district level is not available centrally.
§ Mrs. Dunwoody
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current level of profit clawback that he is asking from pharmaceutical retailers.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I last met the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee on 25 November when we discussed a number of issues relating to the pharmacists' contract with the National Health Service, and in particular the arrangements made earlier this year for the introduction of higher discount scales. I advised the pharmaceutical services negotiating committee of the undertaking given to the High Court on 21 November that, in acknowledging that the method of announcing those arrangements was not legally valid, the Department would repay excess discount already collected and would suspend further action until other issues before the court had been decided. Discussions on matters not directly relating to the court proceedings are continuing at official level.
I agreed with the pharmaceutical services negotiating Committee that we would hold further discussions in the spring of next year on possible changes to the pharmacists' contract when both parties had had time to complete the preparation of proposals on the subject.