HC Deb 15 March 1994 vol 239 cc566-7W
Mr. Blunkett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance or guidelines have been issued by her Department regarding the appropriateness of investment in tobacco companies by NHS trusts or health authorities.

Dr. Mawhinney

Trusts and health authorities cannot invest Exchequer funds in tobacco companies.

Paragraph 7 of schedule 3 to the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 limits the manner in which trusts can invest any money held to securities of the Government of the United Kingdom, or such other manner as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State may, with the consent of the Treasury, approve. Approval has been given for investment in certain United Kingdom public sector institutions, banks which are authorised institutions under part I of the Banking Act 1987, and building societies authorised under the Building Societies Act 1986. Trusts are therefore unable to invest in tobacco companies.

There is no provision in the National Health Service Act 1977 which would allow health authorities to invest funds.