§ Dr. Stoate
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will make it her policy that the contract to operate the Benefits Agency Medical Service will not be transferred to a private company until that company can demonstrate that it has a sufficient medical workforce to execute the contract as demonstrated by signed and returned contracts between the accredited medical workforce and the company. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
It was announced on 19 February 1998,Official Report, columns 861–62, that the contracts for Benefits Agency Medical Service would be awarded to the SEMA Group for five years with an option to extend the contracts for two years.110W
One of the acceptance criteria to be used to determine whether responsibility for providing the medical services is transferred to a private company is that a pool of suitably qualified and approved doctors is in place to deliver the service.