HC Deb 21 May 1998 vol 312 c511W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress being made towards equipment in the(a) Mid-Essex Hospital Trust, (b) Mid-Essex Community and Mental Health Trust and (c) Essex Health Authority areas being millennium compliant; and when he expects the work to be completed. [42895]

Mr. Milburn

All health authorities and National Health Service trusts are working in line with national policy and guidelines set out in Executive Letters EL(96)80 and EL(97)59 and their accompanying guidelines Health Service Guidelines (97)40, and Health Service Circular 1998/091 to address the Year 2000 problem. Copies of the guidelines are available in the Library.

HSC 1998/091 is the latest guidance and states that all chief executives of health authorities and NHS trusts should submit new interim returns to the NHS Executive's Regional Offices on 30 June and 30 September 1998, and quarterly reports throughout 1999; ensure that by 31 December 1998 they have identified and resourced effective solutions for all Year 2000 problems that would otherwise compromise the safety of patients and staff, and the continuity of services; and to ensure that by 30 September 1999 all parts of the NHS are fully prepared with compliant equipment or effective contingency plans in place.

Such information as is available on specific trusts will be placed in the Library shortly. I shall arrange for a copy to be sent to the hon. Member.