§ Mr. David Porter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the National Health Service and Community Care Bill and services for disabled patients.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The purpose of the National Health Service and Community Care Bill is to make the changes in the law needed to implement the proposals set out in our White Papers "Working for Patients' (Cmnd 555) and "Caring for People" (Cmnd 849). Under the proposals for NHS services, district health authorities will be responsible for seeing that the needs of all their resident population, including people with disabilities, are met and that patients have access to a comprehensive range of high quality value for money services. The new arrangements for community care will improve opportunities for independent living for people with disabilities by improving coordination between agencies providing care, providing for multi-disciplinary assessment of need, whether for residential care or support at home, involving the individual more closely in decisions affecting him, and taking more account of the needs of carers.