§ 68. Mr. Hayes
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 to patients.
§ 99. Mr. Dunn
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on patient care and the National Health Service and Community Care Bill.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The aim of our proposals is to raise the level of services in all parts of the National Health Service closer to the standards already achieved by the best and so produce a better quality of care for all patients. District health authorities will have the specific responsibility of ensuring the availability of a full range of services for all patients living within their boundaries. They will use contracts to specify the nature and quality of the services to be provided. Hospitals will have more freedom to manage their own affairs and so will be able to respond better and more quickly to individual patients and their general practitioners. Our plans will improve the service on admission to hospital by providing: more reliable appointment times; better facilities for waiting and counselling; more information about services available and on clinical matters concerning their own care as well as a wider range of optional extras and amenities.
The effect of these, and the other proposals will be to make the National Health Service more patient conscious and better able to provide high quality services.