§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the(a) progress and (b) likely future timescale of each of the hospital PFI projects which have been selected as pilots for the contracting-out of the management of ancillary staff. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 9 January 2002]: Recent progress has been good. The risk matrix, which states which parties manage the various risks in the retention of employment model, has been agreed by Unison, private sector contractors and the Department. Bidders at the three pilot sites are now finalising their best and final offers incorporating the risk matrix and these will be received shortly. This will allow an evaluation of the model, along with establishing if it is value for money, to take place during March. If successful, the first contracts should be signed in March.