Mr. Alan Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what monitoring takes place of the quality of surgery carried out in general practitioners' surgeries; how this compares with the monitoring of similar surgical work in hospitals; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Milburn
In order to receive a fee from the health authority for undertaking minor surgical procedures, a general practitioner must gain admission to the health authority's minor surgery list. The National Health Service (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992 require the health authority to satisfy itself that the general practitioner has the medical experience, training and facilities necessary to carry out minor surgical procedures.
General practitioners themselves are guided by professional advice on minor surgery. We are exploring with the profession options for standardising entry criteria and introducing regular review of general practitioners on such lists.
Clinical audit can have a valuable role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of clinical care. The Government and the NHS support clinical audit in all 141W areas of care, and nowadays participation in audit is becoming an accepted and expected part of high standards of professional practice.