§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what restrictions are applied by(a) regulation, (b) his policy and (c) regional policies on primary care trusts' decisions on where patients should be sent for hospital treatment;
(2) if he will make a statement on the standards required for the accreditation of non-NHS hospitals for the provision of NHS services (a) as contractors with primary care trusts and (b) as sub-contractors of hospital trusts; and whether the standard for a particular procedure varies between (a) and (b) 
§ Mr. Hutton
There are no regulations which impose restrictions on decisions by primary care trusts (PCTs) on where patients should be sent for hospital treatment. Such decisions are up to each PCT in the light of all relevant factors including available resources and the clinical needs of the person.
Health Service Circular 2000–07. Securing Service Delivery: Commissioning Freedoms of Primary Care Trusts, issued in April 2002 made clear that PCTs should feel free to commission care from wherever they can obtain the best services for patients. Commissioning decisions should be judged against the twin tests of high clinical standards and good value for money. This applies to decisions to commission services from both National Health Service hospitals and non-NHS hospitals. NHS trusts are similarly free to commission services from such non-NHS hospitals as they consider appropriate, against the same tests of high clinical standards and good value for money.
In their commissioning role, PCTs will, when appropriate, need to collaborate with neighbouring PCTs and work as part of consortia. However the consortium is set up, the decisions made by that consortium will be binding on all members.