§ Mr. Hammond
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has held with 3M Healthcare regarding replacement of faulty prostheses; what offers the company made to provide such replacements at its expense in the private sector; and what response he made to such offers. 
§ Mr. Boateng
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives from 3M Healthcare on 20 February 1998 and there have been regular meetings between Departmental officials and 3M Health Care since. We have welcomed and accepted a proposal from 3M Healthcare to meet the entire costs of identifying and reviewing all patients who had been implanted with a capital hip, as well as the cost of any necessary revision surgery on account of femoral loosening. Patients may choose whether to receive care in the National Health Service or the private sector, with 3M Healthcare meeting the costs in either case.