§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his proposals for NHS Plus with particular reference to(a) income generation, (b) avoiding unfair competition with private sector consultants and (c) improving awareness of occupational health issues among health professionals and private employers.
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 31 October 2001]: NHS Plus will be launched on 19 November as a national network of National Health Service Occupational Health Departments who will be selling occupational health services to the private or other parts of the public sector, particularly small and medium sized businesses. Occupational health services are not part of the statutory NHS provision: NHS Plus will be provided as an income generating service. Under the rules of income generation, such services have to recover their full costs as well as making a surplus which is reinvested in the health service. Our aim is that NHS Plus will help to raise awareness of the importance of occupational health to businesses as well as helping to improve the quality of occupational health available to NHS staff themselves.