§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what initiatives she has to extend compulsory competitive tendering for hospital portering services; and what studies she has carried out of the costs and benefits involved.
§ Mr. Sackville
The Government's proposals to extend competitive tendering and other forms of market testing in the National Health Service were set out in the White Paper "Competing for Quality" published last November, a copy of which is available in the Library. The indications from the many health authorites who have market tested their portering services as a local initiative are that it leads to better specification of service, lower costs, and more flexible deployment of staff.