§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what decisions he has taken in regard to contracting out national health service jobs in Wales.
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
Competitive tendering of ancillary services in the NHS in Wales has led to improvements in the quality and delivery of service and to financial savings in excess of £4 million, thus releasing resources for direct patient care. The market testing of a much wider range of non-clinical services is actively being pursued by authorities, units and NHS trusts in accordance with the "Competing for Quality" White Paper. Decisions on the award of contracts are for local management. The applicability of the Transfer of undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 to NHS contracts is a particular issue which has been raised and the Department is seeking legal advice on whether current guidance should now be revised.