HC Deb 08 April 1998 vol 310 cc364-5W
Mr. Etherington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to increase the number of general practitioners in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement. [37864]

Mr. Milburn

We have introduced a number of national policy measures to improve the recruitment of general practitioners which Sunderland Health Authority has been implementing locally. The health authority has recently introduced a career start scheme and has successfully recruited two salaried GPs to commence work in the near future. It also intends filling two additional GP posts under this initiative later this year. The Priority Healthcare Wearside National Health Service Trust has employed a salaried GP under the NHS (Primary Care) Act 1997 Pilot scheme to provide personal medical services to the residents of the Pennywell area. A third out-of-hours centre to provide GP services through the night also became operational in January 1998.

Derv Unleaded 4 star Total
Bulk purchases
Litres 12,787,000 669,000 1,270,000 14,726,000
Average price1 49.87 49.85 54.67 -
Total cost 6,376,800 333,500 694,300 7,404,600
Total cost inc. VAT 7,492,700 391,900 815,800 8,700,400
Retail purchases
Litres 6,000,000 6,000,000 3,000,000 15,000,000
Average price1 62.49 62.38 68.30 -
Total cost 3,749,400 3,742,800 2,049,000 9,541,200
Grand total cost all purchases 11,242,100 4,134,700 2,864,800 18,241,600
Bulk purchases
Litres 12,787,000 669,000 1,270,000 14,726,000
Average price1 53.98 53.30 58.57 -
Total cost 6,902,400 356,600 743,800 8,002,800
Total cost inc. VAT 8,110,300 419,000 874,000 9,403,300
Retail purchases
Litres 6,000,000 6,000,000 3,000,000 15,000,000
Average price1 67.68 66.37 72.97 -
Total cost 4,060,800 3,982,200 2,189,100 10,232,100
Grand total cost all purchases 12,171,100 4,401,200 3,063,100 19,635,400
1Pence (p).


In addition to the above figures, NHS Supplies' Wholesaling Division's transport fleet spent approximately £1.33 million on fuel costs (almost exclusively Derv) in 1997–98 and estimate this will rise to £1.47 million in 1998–99.

The figures for bulk are for England and Northern Ireland, but the retail figures are for England only. This said the element in the bulk figures relating to Northern Ireland is small.

Retail purchase costs above include VAT as transactions are made at commercial petrol stations.

All figures have been rounded.

There are several issues that make estimates difficult for 1998–99. These are: budget duty changes will have an effect on demand oil is a commodity traded in US$ and, as such, is subject to global supply/demand fluctuations as well as currency fluctuations oil companies, despite being nationally recognised names, are becoming increasingly regionalised around their terminals eg Esso in the far south, Total in Yorkshire and Humberside and so on. In the supply of bulk, this regionalisation can be clearly seen and it is likely to become increasingly obvious in the retail sector as well. This regionalisation will have an effect on costs across the country. There were also a number of oil company partnerships and take overs last year and this trend is expected to continue.