§ 29. Mr. Allen McKay
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the new family practitioner authorities will be responsible for the integration of primary care and secondary care.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
The integration of services to patients is primarily the responsibility of the professional staff concerned with the delivery of complementary and frequently mutually dependent services. It is the joint responsibility of family practitioner committees and district health authorities to collaborate in the planning and provision of primary health care services in such a way as to encourage the integrated delivery of services to patients, and the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Bill should result in the strengthening of such collaboration. District health authorities are responsible for secondary care but are expected to collaborate with family practitioner committees on those aspects which directly relate to the services provided by the contractor professions.
§ 55. Mr. Haynes
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he intends to put cash limits on the new family practitioner authorities.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The administrative costs of family practitioner committees will continue to be subject to cash limits in future as they are at present. I have received no representations on this. We have commissioned an independent study of forecasting and control of expenditure on the family practitioner services generally, including the possibility of operating a cash limit on all or part of the expenditure. We will take no decisions on the desirability of any new system of cash limits until results of this study are available.
§ 60. Mr. Foster
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received concerning his proposals to make family practitioner committees into independent authorities.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
We have received representations which favour, and others which oppose, our proposal to change the status of family practitioner committees. Opinions are divided, but it is our belief that such a change will secure improved efficiency and accountability in respect of family practitioner committees and encourage collaboration between the committees and other authorities.