§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which district health authorities and trusts have cook-chill systems of hospital catering; and which regional health authorities have a region wide policy of cook-chill catering in hospital.
§ Mr. Dorrell
This information is not held centrally. It is a matter for district health authorities and trusts to use catering systems that they consider meet their requirements of quality within their available resources.
§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to amend the terms and conditions of contract of services for general practitioners to include the provision that medical evidence is supplied free to all claimants where this is submitted in relation to a claim for social security benefits;
(2) what measures are in hand to consolidate and review the national health service General and Medical and Pharmaceutical Regulations; and if he will bring forward proposals to make it mandatory that all medical evidence needed by social security claimants in support of their benefit claims is available free.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Where medical evidence is expressly required under Social Security legislation to establish entitlement to a particular benefit, GPs are obliged to provide it free of charge to their NHS patients. Such certificates are listed in the National Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 1974. This obligation will be preserved intact in these regulations which are currently being consolidated.