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Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether is it his policy to encourage and fund the provision of dysphasia support services by voluntary groups. [111833]

Primary care trusts now have the responsibility of improving the health of the community, securing the provision of high quality services, and integrating health and social care locally. They have the resources to commission services, and to identify the number of professional staff that they need to deliver those services.In making their commissioning decisions PCTs will need to consider how best to use a range of providers for the benefit of National Health Service patients. PCTs may fund local support groups for a range of conditions including dysphasia, if they have identified this as a need when assessing the health needs of the local community. They will also need to consider how best to use voluntary sector providers.