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Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact on the ability of patients with long-term conditions to self care of the proposed changes to the remuneration of services relating to Part IX of the Drug Tariff. (122528)

The Department believes that the current terms of service as laid out in the National Health Service Pharmaceutical Services Regulations and remuneration for some stoma and incontinence appliances do not deliver consistent levels of service provision. Therefore, it proposes to define the terms of service and is seeking views on the proposed specification at present. The required specification is set out in the consultation document entitled “Arrangements for the remuneration of services relating to appliances within Part IX of the Drug Tariff”.

It has always been a stated objective of the consultation process that patient care will be maintained and, where applicable, improved. Throughout the review of these arrangements, which began in October 2005, the Department has consulted a number of patient organisations and clinicians in order to ascertain patient need and the level of services provided by dispensing contractors to meet those needs.

The current consultation on service specification and remuneration closes on 2 April 2007. The Department intends to publish a summary of responses to as soon as is practical, and in any case within three months of the closing date. This summary will be available on the Department's website at: