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Community Development: Essex

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what factors the North Essex Primary Care Trust took into account in deciding to fund a community development worker to liaise with Colchester and Tendring Black and Minority Ethnic Partnership; and how much she expects to be spent on the worker; (141392)

(2) what guidelines her Department has issued on the appointment of community development workers by primary care trusts (PCTs); what account a PCT is expected to take of the financial position of its other mental health provision in making a decision on whether to appoint a person to such a post; and what discussions her Department has had with North East Essex Primary Care Trust on its recent decision to appoint such a worker.

This is a local matter. It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to ensure that the services they commission meet the needs of the communities that they serve.

The PCTs decision to appoint a community development worker (CDW) is in accordance with the 2007-08 operating framework for the national health service that states that PCTs are expected to recruit 500 CDWs nationally by December 2007. The appointment of CDWs is a leading priority for mental health services and the Department has supported recruitment with £16 million per annum in PCTs’ baseline financial allocations.

There have been no discussions with North East Essex PCT on the subject.