§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce market testing in relation to the activities of the NHS supplies authority. 
§ Mr. Horam
In common with all health authorities and trusts, the national health service supplies authority is free to market test its non-core activities, wherever it can add value by doing so. A number of services have been contracted out, and in particular about 20 per cent. of NHS supplies' logistics costs involve third party contractors who operate two distribution centres and most of the transport operations. NHS supplies is actively developing a proposed logistics strategy which is aimed at improving services and reducing warehousing and distribution costs, and includes options for further market testing of these services.