§ Mr. Wilshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 2 March 2004,Official Report, column 861W, on Mercury Healthcare, if he will make a statement on the reasons why the Government decided to switch preferred bidder status from Mercury Healthcare to Capio UK in relation to the provision of a diagnostic treatment centre at Ashford Hospital, Middlesex. 
§ Mr. Hutton
It was decided to switch preferred bidder status after careful consideration of the detailed contract requirements for the spine chain. This is a complex contract that incorporates different clinical specialties, casemix and locations and it is important that the provider matches the needs of the national health service in each area.