§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce regulations governing privately funded projects within the NHS; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Milburn
A scheme taken forward under the private finance initiative (PFI) already has to be approved by the National Health Service Executive if it has a capital value of £1 million or more. Approval is not given unless a scheme demonstrates that it meets local healthcare needs, is affordable and represents good value for money. Once a contract has been signed for a PFI scheme, the NHS body taking the scheme forward is, of course, responsible for monitoring the performance of its private sector partner to ensure that it meets the standards specified in the contract.