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Primary Care Trusts: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the performance of primary care trusts in implementing the compact with voluntary organisations in their area. (125290)

In 2002, the Department wrote to all national health service organisations in England asking them to sign up to, or be working towards, a geographically relevant local compact by 31 March 2004. Data to confirm the extent to which this was achieved are not available centrally (although anecdotal evidence would suggest that progress has not been uniform).

I made a fresh commitment to the principles of the compact on 1 December 2006 in a joint statement with Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). In addition, following the report of the Third Sector Commissioning Task Force last July, the “Commissioning Framework for Health and Wellbeing”, published for consultation on 6 March, reflects the principles of the compact in positioning the third sector as an important contributor to the commissioning and provision of high quality, responsive services, and promoting a fair playing field for all providers.