§ Mr. MacShane
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the amount of money saved from general practitioner fundholding budgets which is being used to increase the value of the premises owned by fundholding general practitioners.
§ Mr. Malone
None. Paragraph 24 of the National Health Service (Fund-holding Practices) Regulations 1993 states that general practitioner fundholder audited savings may be used to supplement future budgets, to purchase material or equipment and to improve practice premises for the benefit of patients.
Family health services authorities are responsible for monitoring fundholders' expenditure, including savings, to ensure that they are used, in accordance with regulations, for the benefit of patients.
Many fundholders have used efficiency savings to purchase additional services, or improve their premises, for example, to build extra treatment rooms for community nurses or visiting consultants or to bring more services into the practice. This investment in primary care 369W improves convenience for patients and the cost-effectiveness of the service.