§ Mr. Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether, under his proposals for National Health Service hospitals, he anticipates that general practitioners will be able to obtain without charge telephone advice from such hospitals outside their own catchment area concerning the treatment of patients not being considered for hospital admission.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
[holding answer 18 December 1989]: Yes. We have no reason to believe that the present informal arrangements between individual GPs and hospital doctors will not continue.