HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 cc51-2W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the principal activities of his Department and its agencies which provide business for(a) Crown post offices and (b) other post offices; if he will assess whether the level of business generated in each case is likely to increase or decrease over the next five years; and which new areas of business for post offices are likely to be developed by his Department and its agencies over the same period. [99557]

Yvette Cooper

The Department has a number of activities providing business for Crown and local post offices.

Crown post offices issue leaflets called "Health Advice for Travellers" to customers on request, check customers self-completion of form CM1 contained in the leaflet and issue properly completed and authorised Form El11 to entitled persons. These documents entitle the holder to free or reduced cost emergency health care in other European Economic Area states.

Main post offices also display a poster and two leaflets informing the general public about entitlement to help with health costs. They distribute approximately one million leaflets per annum.

Crown and other post offices pay cash refunds of prescription charges when presented with a properly completed claim form by a patient or his/her representative.

Crown and other post offices distribute milk tokens under the Welfare Food Scheme on behalf of the Department. Milk token issues through post offices are expected to decrease over the next five years.

Targets for electronic delivery of services (50 per cent. by 2005, 100 per cent. by 2008) represent a real opportunity for additional business for the Post Office network across all public services delivered by central government. Moreover, equivalent targets are now being set for local government, and there is an opportunity for the Post Office network to gain further business in delivery of services which are the responsibility of local government.