asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what arrangements he is making for a review of community nursing services in the National Health Service.
In recent years there have been changes in the organisation of the National Health Service and shifts in patterns of care which have led to increasing demands on nursing services provided for and in the community. We have decided that the time has come to take a fresh look at important questions about the role of nurses, midwives and health visitors working as part of primary health and care teams and in different community health programmes. We are concerned about the extent to which different services may overlap, whether there are gaps, whether the training provided is well matched to the tasks community nursing staff now face, and whether the services are cost effective.We have decided therefore to set up a community nursing review team with the following terms of reference:
"To study the nursing services provided outside hospitals by Health Authorities, and to report to the Secretary of State on how resources can be used more effectively, so as to improve the services available to client groups. The input from nurses employed by general practitioners will be taken into account."
The team will be led by Mrs. Julia Cumberlege, chairman of Brighton health authority. There will be three other members; Mr. Anthony Carr, who recently retired as district nursing officer for Newcastle HA; a lay member and a management consultant whose names will be announced shortly. We expect the review to examine carefully the present position in England, through a programme of visits and consideration of written evidence.
The review will begin in June, and I have asked Mrs. Cumberlege to report back before the end of the year.