HC Deb 07 July 1997 vol 297 cc378-9W
Mr. McAllion

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland it' he will ensure that NHS funding under the control of general practitioner fundholders and NHS trusts is used exclusively to purchase NHS medical care and services. [5860]

Mr. Galbraith

The National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 as amended imposes a duty on NHS trusts and general medical practitioner fundholders to expend NHS funds on the provision of medical care and services for NHS patients. Under the regulations boards and GP fundholders can refer to centres outwith the NHS.

However, the interests of the patient must be paramount and I expect referrals outwith the NHS to take place only when the service is not readily available locally within the NHS.