§ Mr. McLoughlin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria organisations had to satisfy to be invited to bid for independent sector treatment center contracts; what stages the evaluation process consisted of; who evaluated the competing providers; and what qualifications each had to enable them to carry out the evaluation. 
§ Mr. Hutton
All independent sector providers that expressed an interest in response to advertisements in theOfficial Journal of the European Communities were asked to complete and return a pre-qualification questionnaire. Detailed analysis of the information in the questionnaire enabled the selection of a group of short-listed bidders based on their financial standing and ability to deliver high quality clinical services. This group was invited to submit bids for the contracts to manage and run the proposed new treatment centers. The subsequent selection of the preferred bidders followed careful evaluation of the submitted bids. The evaluation criteria included clinical quality, infrastructure, information management and technology, human resources, legal, financial, speed of mobilisation and delivery, and value for money. There was a structured scoring mechanism against each of these criteria and total scores assessed between bidders.
The national implementation team co-ordinated the evaluation of submitted bids. Bids were evaluated and ranked by specialist teams consisting of members of the national implementation team, their advisers and local national health service sponsors and experts. The national implementation team is part of the new commercial directorate of the Department of Health and brings together staff with a range of the clinical, commercial and legal skills relevant to the procurement of clinical services.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health which organisations have been invited to bid for independent sector treatment center contracts; and what specific experience each organisation has in running surgical facilities providing orthopaedic procedures and major joint replacement programmes. (1646051
§ Mr. Hutton
Announced preferred bidders for the independent sector treatment center programme are: Netcare UK, Mercury Healthcare Ltd., Care UK 229W Afrox, Anglo Canadian Clinics, Nations Healthcare, Birkdale Clinic, New York Presbyterian, Capio UK and Interhealth Care Services (UK) Ltd. All likely preferred bidders are subject to final cool Tact negotiation and agreement and schemes will only proceed if they provide the required level of value for money for national health service commissioners.
Contractual closure has also been reached on four of the schemes. One, a fixed site treatment center at Daventry, managed and run by the Birkdale Clinic; the second, a mobile cataract theatre run and managed by Netcare UK; the third a fixed site treatment center at Trent, managed and run by Care UK Afrox; and the fourth a fixed site treatment center at Bradford, managed by Nations Healthcare.
The selection of the preferred bidders followed careful evaluation of the submitted bids. This evaluation included a clinical assessment and preferred bidders have demonstrated that they are competent to provide the services for which they have bid.