§ Mr. Hood
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the instructions given to the health boards about the use of commercial contractors in support services of the National Health Service also referred to the need to hold, in advance, discussions and consultations, with the unions representing the workers of each of those health boards.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The practical guidance on competitive tendering issued to health boards and the Common Services Agency on 11 December by the Scottish Home and Health Department indicates that, where the board's employees running an in-house service wish to bid for a contract they should be given the same opportunities to do so and be subject to the same conditions as external contractors.