§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much private patient bad debt was written off by NHS trusts in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 3 November 2003]National health service trusts in England (excluding strategic health authorities and primary care trusts) wrote off the following amounts annually for bad debts and abandoned claims over the past four years:
A provisional estimate for the current financial year (2002–03) is £1,941,000.