§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed national health service reforms on national health service efficiency.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The national health service reforms will introduce NHS contracts—or service agreements—between health authorities and GP fund holders on one side, and hospitals and other units on the other. These agreements will specify the cost, volume and quality of services to be provided. This specification of services in contracts will provide an incentive to ensure that resources go more directly to the hospitals or units which provide the best quality and best value care. This will be an important stimulus in making the national health service more efficient.