§ Mr. Grogan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to modernise NHS procurement. 
§ Mr. Denham
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is today publishing the report of a Cabinet Office Review of NHS Procurement which sets out a range of recommendations to develop NHS procurement.437W
Copies have been placed in the Library. We have accepted the broad thrust of these recommendations and the Department of Health, NHS Trusts, and the NHS Supplies Authority will now start to put in place the new arrangements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of purchasing and supply in the NHS.
A key recommendation was to establish a Supplies Co-ordination Body, drawn from the existing NHS Supplies Authority purchasing and strategy functions to provide a stronger central focus for procurement work. We are announcing today our intention to establish a NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency from 1 April 2000 to take this work forward in the Department of Health.