HC Deb 13 February 1996 vol 271 c556W
25. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what impact the increase in the number of general practitioner fundholders from 1 April 1996 will have on health authority purchasing powers. [13328]

Mr. Malone

Health authorities will continue to have a significant role as purchasers of hospital and community health services from April 1996. The developing role of health authorities as general practitioner fundholding expands, has been set out in guidance EL(94)79, "Developing NHS Purchasing and GP Fundholding— Towards a Primary Care-Led NHS". A copy of this guidance is available in the Library.

26. Mr. David Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has recently received in connection with fundholding general practitioners. [13329]

Mr. Malone

I have regular meetings with the medical profession to discuss a range of issues, including general practitioner fundholding.

28. Mr. Mark Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of patients will be covered by general practitioner fundholding from April. [13331]

Mr. Malone

We expect that over 50 per cent. of the population will be served by a fundholding practitioner from April 1996.

Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors' practices in the Greater London area are fundholding; how many are not; what costs to public funds are involved in each case; and if he will make a statement. [13607]

Mr. Malone

A total of 325 general practitioner practices in Greater London are currently fundholders, serving more than a quarter of the population. A total of 1,438 general practitioner practices in Greater London are not currently fundholders. We expect the number of fundholders will rise to 578 practices serving 40 per cent. of the population of Greater London from next April.

General practitioner fundholders receive allocations to purchase healthcare on their patients' behalf. Similarly, health authorities receive funds to purchase health care on behalf of non-fundholders' patients and for non-fundholding services for fundholders' patients. General practitioner fundholders receive a management allowance to support them in directly managing resources and providing care on their patient behalf.