§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average unit cost of a cataract operation at each trust within the Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority Area has been in 2003: and what the estimated average unit cost of a cataract operation to be provided by the proposed diagnostic and treatment centre for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer Tuesday 14 October]: The information for the average cost of a cataract operation at each trust within the Thames Valley area for 2003 is not collected centrally.
However, the costs shown in the table represent the national average cost in the national health service for all NHS patients treated as an inpatient or day case. These costs are collected using healthcare resource groups (HRGs), which are groups of treatments that are clinically homogeneous and have similar costs. Therefore, the treatments the HRGs contain are less specific than those listed in the question. The most up to date costs published by the Department are for the financial year 2001–02.
£ HRG code HRG label Average BO2 Phakoemulsification cataract extractions with lens 671 BO3 Other cataract extraction with lens 740
It is not possible to estimate the average unit cost of a cataract operation to be provided by the proposed diagnostic and treatment centre as this is still under 94WS negotiation. However, the primary care trust will only pay the tariff figure for procedures carried out there. Value for money is one of the key concerns for the negotiators.