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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in implementing the requirement for general practitioners to identify carers on their patient lists and inform them of services available to carers. [115906]

General practitioner's computer systems are required to include a field where the details of carers are entered. More than 98 per cent. of GPs already have access to a desktop computer, which means that they will be prompted for carer details as part of the registration details of patients.In addition, the new GP contract, which is currently under consideration, aims to resource and reward GPs on the basis of how well they care for their patients rather than simply the number of patients they treat. One of the quality standards is that, "the practice has a protocol for the identification of carers and a mechanism for the referral of carers for social services assessment".