HC Deb 04 February 1994 vol 236 cc977-8W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken by her Department to notify NHS directors of finance that all NHS capital schemes will in the future need to demonstrate that private sector alternatives have been fully considered before a case is made for public finance.

Mr. Sackville

In a letter dated 14 January 1993, FDL(93)03, the National Health Service Management Executive director of finance and corporate information urged NHS directors of finance to make full and appropriate use of the new scope for private capital in the NHS, so that NHS money would be used most productively on patient care, and major improvements to the environment for patients and NHS staff, and to health care services, would be possible. Many examples of private finance options were included in the information pack "Public Service, Private Finance … putting private capital to work for the NHS", sent with the executive letter EL(93)101 to all NHS general managers on 18 November 1993. In this executive letter the director of finance and corporate information said: I expect private finance to become a standard option that is considered in planning any NHS capital scheme".

Further instructions on considering private finance options are to be included in the forthcoming NHS capital investment manual. Copies of both letters are available in the Library.