HC Deb 07 February 1986 vol 91 cc291-2W
Mr. Watts

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he intends to introduce legislation providing powers to bring in the new contract for National Health Service community pharmacies.

Mr. Hayhoe

In my reply to the hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Thorne) on 14 November 1985, at column289, I confirmed the Government's commitment to the contract for National Health Service community pharmacists negotiated and agreed with their representatives last summer. Yesterday my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services announced that the Government will introduce a Bill in the present Session to remove Crown immunity and make the Health Service subject to the provisions of the Food Act. This Bill will also propose the provision of powers to introduce, in full, the new pharmacists' contract; and, to re-establish beyond doubt the Government's ability, challenged in court proceedings last autumn, to ensure that the remuneration and reimbursement arrangements for all NHS family practitioner services professional contractors are fair to the contractors themselves and to the taxpayer by allowing past overpayments or underpayments to be reflected in future fees. There provisions will cover Great Britain and, if necessary, be extendable to Northern Ireland.