§ Mr. Galbraith
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken to ensure that Scottish general practitioners are aware of the terms of the purchaser/provider contracts being made on their behalf by health boards.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Circulars to health boards issued by the Scottish Office have emphasised that one of the main objectives of the new NHS contracts system is to provide health boards and GPs with the opportunity to work more closely together for the benefit of patients. Boards have therefore been instructed to set up appropriate consultative arrangements for discussion with general practitioners on their present and intended referral patterns, and to liaise on the placement of contracts and on the introduction of changes to contracts once these are in place.