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Nhs And Community Care Bill

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any pilot studies are being undertaken on proposals in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

Although no specific "pilot studies" are being undertaken, the Health Service, frequently supported and funded by the Department of Health, is undertaking a wide range of projects designed to inform the future implementation of the proposals contained in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

66.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role he envisages for the voluntary sector in implementing the community care proposals in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

We envisage a substantial and significant role for the voluntary sector in implementing proposals on community care and as set out in the White Paper "Caring for People". The voluntary sector will continue directly to provide services, represent user and carer interests, be active consultees in the care planning process and continue to respond to new and changed needs through innovative service developments. The precise role in each area will, of course, depend upon local expertise and needs.

75.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how quality of care for patients will be affected by the proposals in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

126.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the National Health Service and Community Care Bill will affect the quality of service to patients.

Our proposals aim to raise the level of services in all parts of the Health Service closer to the standards already achieved by the best and so produce an improved quality of care for patients. District health authorities will have the specific responsibility of ensuring the availability of a full range of services for all people living within their boundaries. They will use contracts to specify both the nature and quality of the services to be provided. Hospitals will have much more freedom to manage their own affairs and will be able to respond more effectively to the needs of patients. The service on admission to hospital will improve by providing:

—more reliable appointment times;
—better facilities for waiting and counselling;
—more information about the services which are available and on clinical matters; and
—a wide range of optional extras and amenities.
The introduction of the GP practice fund scheme will give family doctors the opportunity to decide for themselves which hospital will offer the best quality treatment for their patients.The effect of these, and of our other proposals, will be to make the NHS more patient conscious and better able to provide high quality care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on steps being taken to implement the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

93.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on the implementation of the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.

Implementation of the Bill itself will follow from the completion of its parliamentary passage. Regional and district health authorities are well advanced in planning for implementation to ensure the delivery of improved services to patients. The Bill has been considered in detail for 147 hours in this House and is now being considered by a Committee of the House of Lords.For a detailed explanation of all the progress we have made in putting into action the changes outlined in the White Paper "Working for Patients" I refer my hon. Friends to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Smith) on 20 March at column

546.