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Health Services

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on (a) designating in-house bodies as preferred providers for the management of community services and (b) permitting care trusts to manage community services directly; and if he will make a statement. (323237)

The Department's guidance on the assurance and approvals process for primary care trust (PCT)-provided community services (published 5 February 2010) sets out the policy on direct provision. It said that PCTs should principally be commissioning organisations. Circumstances may make it appropriate for some PCTs to continue the direct provision of services, but this will not be the norm. Continued direct provision should not detract from the PCT's core role of commissioning, which should be of the highest standard.

The guidance also makes clear that in relation to care trusts, the continued management of community services is permissible where it meets the national tests as set out in the guidance.

The assurance and approvals process for PCT-provided community services has already been placed in the Library and is available on the Department's website at: