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Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to issue guidelines on (a) the monitoring of patient outcomes for patients referred to clinical assessment teams, particularly for patients with serious inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and (b) the training of staff being recruited to clinical assessment teams to ensure that health professionals are able to identify inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. (119492)

The development of multi-disciplinary clinical assessment teams (CATs) are central to the delivery of the musculoskeletal services framework. The framework and accompanying implementation guidance emphasises the need for staff training needs to be organised in line with the operational detail of CATs and for the collection of activity and audit data, including information on clinical and patient outcomes. Data collection and staff training needs are matters ultimately for local decision.