§ Mr. Bill Walker
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on competitive tendering for the non-emergency patient transport services in the Forth Valley and Lanarkshire health board areas.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The Common Services Agency, having considered the tenders received, has decided to award the contract to the Scottish ambulance service in-house team for a five-year period from 1 July 1990.
The tendering exercise has been proved successful and will result in substantial savings of £500,000. These savings will be reinvested into the accident and emergency service to further improve the level of care provided with no detriment to the non-emergency patient transport service.
In the light of this experience, I have asked the agency to begin the preparatory work which will allow the tendering exercise to be extended to other areas in Scotland.