§ Ms Rosie Winterton:
The current contract for NHSnet is due to expire next year. It would be inappropriate to negotiate any amendment to this at the present time to enable community pharmacies to gain connectivity. The model of connectivity needs to take into account future requirements that may arise out of our wish to see community pharmacists as a more integrated part of the national health service, services that they may provide under the new community pharmacy contract currently under discussion and delivery of the national prescription service target outlined in "Delivering 21st Century IT Support for the NHS". The N3 networking project, which is responsible for procuring a successor network to NHSnet, is currently considering which N3 services could help meet these community pharmacy connectivity requirements.