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Multiple Sclerosis

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will appoint a national director for multiple sclerosis; (201285)

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of the National Service Framework for Long-Term Conditions on the provision of services and staffing for people with multiple sclerosis.

We have not assessed the effect of the “National Service Framework (NSF) for long term conditions” on service provision for people with multiple sclerosis. The NSF has a 10-year implementation programme from its publication in March 2005, with flexibility for organisations to set the pace of change locally to take account of differences in local priorities and needs.

We have no plans to appoint a national director for multiple sclerosis. National directors oversee the implementation of specific NSFs or major clinical or service strategies. In line with devolving responsibility to local organisations, we believe that it is more appropriate for local health and social care communities and the third sector to take responsibility for driving forward the service changes and improvements envisaged by the NSF for long- term conditions.