§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from the British Surgical Trades Association, or from individual members of the medical supply industry about unfair competition from the national health service supply centres; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dorrell
We have received a number of representations from trade associations, wholesalers and manufacturers alleging unfair terms of trading by individual health authorities selling on a proportion of their supplies to non-NHS bodies. Most of the representations arose prior to the issue of new guidelines on resale of goods to non-NHS organisations to all health authority general managers in March 1991. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure fair competition without damage to the NHS, and the NHS management executive has asked the NHS supplies authority to continue to monitor NHS activity in this area.