HC Deb 15 March 1999 vol 327 cc449-50W
Mrs. Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will issue instructions to hospitals that normal BT call charges should apply to all payphones within their hospitals. [76150]

Mr. Galbraith

No. The provision of a telephone service for use by patients and visitors, including the choice of provider, is a matter for individual trusts. Detailed guidance on the setting of fees and charges by NHS trusts is contained in the Treasury publication "The Fees and Charges Guide". Where a service is to be provided by a third party, trusts, should ensure best value both for the hospital and the user by seeking tenders from potential operators.

From 1 July, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.