§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many samples were tested by the Public Health Laboratory Service on behalf of local authorities in each year since 1988; and if he will state the charging policy of his Department for this work together with the scale of charges.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The Public Health Laboratory Service tested the following number of samples collected by local authorities:
1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 England Wales 318,027 320,434 309,905 Wales 29,149 24,419 22,697 Total 347,176 344,853 332,602
In future the Public Health Laboratory Service, like health authorities, will provide services under contract to those who require them. The way in which this general principle will apply to services provided to local authorities is still under discussion.