§ Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which local bodies have specific responsibilities for the quality of, and advance planning for, general practitioner services.
§ Mr. Moyle
General practitioners provide services under individual contracts with Family Practitioner Committees (FPCs). The standard terms of the contracts are negotiated centrally and laid down in statutory instruments. FPCs, though they are set up by area health authorities, are directly responsible under the National Health Service Act 1977 for administering the contracts and thus carry local responsibility, with the professions themselves, for the quality of the services.
Planning of National Health Service services as a whole, including family practitioner services, is the responsibility of regional health authorities and area health authorities, and entails co-operation between them and family practitioner committees on general practice matters.