§ Mrs. Gorman
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of the European Private Patients Group in marketing NHS services in other European countries.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The European Private Patients Group presently consists of about 30 NHS hospitals across the country. The group is in the process of carrying out a feasibility study to see if the sale of NHS private patient facilities to other European countries is a viable opportunity, and the results should be available in the autumn.
If this venture goes ahead, the group plans to utilise spare capacity in NHS private patient wards and the consultants concerned would treat European private patients in their own time—that is, at times other than when they are contracted to work for the NHS. Profits from the scheme would be available to help fund NHS waiting list initiatives or other developments in local NHS services.