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Mr. Mike Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the fitness for purpose of the IT system at NHS Logistics; and what assessment she has made of the requirement for a new IT system to expand the market served by NHS Logistics; 
Jane Kennedy: The NHS Logistics Authority (NHSLA) undertakes an annual review of its information technology strategy, which covers issues such as system capacity and fitness for purpose. KPMG, NHSLA's internal auditor, has assisted NHS Logistics with these reviews. The reviews have concluded that the existing systems, with future planned enhancements, are capable of meeting the known medium term needs of the national health service and NHSLA.
Jane Kennedy: The last significant restructuring of the management of NHS Logistics was implemented in April 2000. This restructure was a result of recommendations made by the 1998 Cabinet Office Review of NHS Procurement. NHS Logistics has been subject to one internal management restructure since 2000, which was implemented in April 2003.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what growth occurred in the supply of goods by NHS Logistics, including the share of the NHS consumables market each year since 1997, broken down by (a) volume and (b) value. 
Jane Kennedy: The NHS Logistics Authority (NHSLA) was formed in April 2000 and the income generated from the supply of goods is shown in the table. During this time, product revenues have grown by an average 8 per cent. per annum, which is a 38 per cent. increase on NHSLA's first year activity.
Jane Kennedy: As part of the business case process and evaluation of bidders' responses to the invitation to submit outline proposals, the NHS Logistics management was asked to prepare a 10-year forecast.
Jane Kennedy: The NHS Logistics Authority has prepared a business plan for the 20052006 financial year, which was approved by the Department. NHS Logistics has also produced a three-year corporate plan approved by the Department.
Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation has been undertaken with stakeholders on the future provision of each category of products used by NHS bodies but not supplied by NHS Logistics. 
Jane Kennedy: The National Health Service Purchasing and Supply Agency and NHS Logistics have an established network and ongoing contact with NHS trust level supplies managers, supply management confederations and collaborative procurement hubs. This is supplemented by an extensive range of product and category specific commodity advisory groups, comprising NHS product users and other stakeholders.
These communication streams are consulted and provide input into the contracting process for the consumable products routed through NHS Logistics and also for those products that are supplied directly to the NHS. Selection of the most appropriate supply route for products is a key component of the contracting process and NHS Logistics is considered for all consumable product categories.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she has fully funded the NHS for the costs its has incurred from its commitment properly to contribute to its staff pensions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Government Actuary periodically assesses the current and prospective liabilities of the national health service pensions scheme and recommends a contribution rate at a level commensurate with those liabilities. The employer's contribution rate is currently set at 14 per cent. of pensionable pay.
Jane Kennedy: Under the European Union procurement rules, bidders were subject to a pre-qualification process. This process was conducted by the Department in conjunction with NHS Logistics and the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency.
Pre-qualification assessed bidders on technical skills, financial standing and willingness to comply with the Transfer of Undertakings for Protection of Employment (TUPE) legislation and Treasury guidance on staff transfers and pensions.
Jane Kennedy: The invitation to submit outline proposals did not refer bidders to the need for a new information technology system, but explained that change to the system was envisaged over the 10 years of a potential contract.
Mr. Mike Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of whether additional warehouse capacity that may be required for the expansion of the NHS supplies service provided by NHS Logistics or its successor should be (a) rented and (b) purchased. 
Jane Kennedy: The NHS Logistics Authority has undertaken an assessment of its future warehouse capacity requirements. This indicated that the preferred option for future provision of additional capacity was through a contract with a third party service provider. The third party provider would be responsible for the provision of warehousing capacity and other resources needed to fulfil the contract.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) medical and (b) non-medical clinical staff who were suspended from work pending a fitness-to-practise investigation and subsequently return to work if they are cleared. 
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