Jones's questions about and criticisms of the Alliance Medical deal
In spring 2005, Jones tabled a series of 22 questions to Health Minister John Hutton regarding the contract awarded to Alliance Medical Ltd. to supply mobile MRI scanning services to the NHS. These appear as entries 255 to 277 in the Question Book for April 4, 2005 . Many of the questions dealt with the impact of the scanning deal on patients in his constituency. However, some questions concerned more general issues surrounding the way the deal had been made. Here are some of those questions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health,
- how many meetings have taken place between his Department's officials and Alliance Medical personnel to discuss the provision of scanning services to the NHS by Alliance Medical.
- what policies for reducing waiting times for scans were considered other than entering into a contract with a private sector provider; and what assessment was made of the relative costs of the alternatives.
- what procurement process was undertaken by his Department before entering into the contract with Alliance Medical for the provision of CT and MRI scans. (Q&A)
- if he will list the individuals who were present at the meeting which took place between his Department and Alliance Medical to discuss the provision of scanning services; and on what dates the meetings were held.
Around the same time, Jones also strongly criticised the deal. According to The Telegraph, Jones "described the situation that saw patients told to travel 20 miles to a hospital in Middlesbrough as 'frankly ridiculous' and warned ministers to put their plans for a greater private-sector involvement 'to one side'" .
His comments earned him a rebuke from Labour Party officials, who told him to shut up about it .
- Alan Milburn
- Alliance Medical Ltd.
- Bridgepoint Capital Ltd.
- NHS 'modernisation' relationships diagram
- Advisor, Northern Defence Industries 
- Patrick Hennessy, "Labour orders MP to keep quiet over Milburn scan deal", The Telegraph, March 27, 2005.
- House of Commons Hansard: Written Questions for Answer on Monday 4 April 2005. Contains Jones's questions about the Alliance Medical deal.