§ Mr. Lammy
[holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Department sets NHS Estates key tasks and targets on an annual basis. These targets are agreed with Ministers. One of these targets requires the agency (including lnventures) to achieve a cumulative operating surplus on ordinary activities before interest and dividends of at least 0.6 per cent. of the value of sales during the period from 1 April 1999 to March 2003.
Inventures is essentially a consultancy business employing approximately 270 staff with an annual turnover of approximately £15 million. It provides a wide variety of property services including planning, financing, procuring and managing all aspects of healthcare environment and estates. Its primary customers are the Department of Health and national health service trusts.