HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 cc141-2W
Mr. Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish a full list of reviews at present being carried out in the national health service, the timetable for each review and if the results will be published. [5691]

Mr. Milburn

In addition to reviews of local services being carried out by health authorities, the Government have announced the following reviews which have an impact on the national health service.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced a Government-wide comprehensive spending review on 11 June which will look at all areas of Government spending. The timetable for the review is 12 months and the results will inform a new set of public expenditure plans. In the Department of Health the review will be carried out in the context of the Government's election manifesto commitment which states: it you are ill or injured there will be a national health service there to help; and access to it will be based on need and need alone—not on your ability to pay, or on who your GP happens to be or on where you live".

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced on 20 June the details of the Government's review of health services in London. The review will be conducted by an independent advisory panel chaired by Sir Leslie Turnberg, President of the Royal College of Physicians. The panel has been asked to complete the main elements of its work by the end of October 1997. It is envisaged that the panel's findings will be published.

We have announced an ongoing review looking at the process and product of the private finance initiative in the NHS. It will be complete by the end of the year and the results will be published.

In addition, we have also established a national health service efficiency task force to explore more effective and efficient ways of delivering high quality patient care. The group has not been asked to prepare a report.