§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why his Department has issued for consultation radically altered draft contracts for National Health Service ancillary services when discussions on the previous drafts sent out with his draft circular were virtually complete.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The object of consultation on the draft contracts, which were sent out with the draft circular on contracting out of domestic, catering and laundry services in the NHS, was to see if the contracts could be improved. As a result of the comments we have received, the contracts are being revised and as part of the revision we have sought the views of the relevant trade associations on the proposed changes. This action will not hold up early issues of the circular.268W
pollen and hay fever bureau estimates that about 10 per cent. of the population are affected, mainly concentrated in the 15 to 25 years age group. The main Government-funded body supporting research into allergies generally is the Medical Research Council with its grant-in-aid from the science budget of the Department of Education and Science. I understand that the council is currently supporting a research project related to hay fever at the Cardio-Thoracic Institute in London. Recent advances in treatment have made it possible for many patients to obtain some relief from the symptoms of hay fever, either from their general practitioner or from specialist clinics.