§ Mr. Hannam
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will examine the implications of sections 1. 2, 3 and 7 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 for community care policy.
§ Mr. Freeman
Our proposals for the future of community care will make clear our intention that all local authorities should fully involve individual disabled people and carers in decisions which affect them. Concerning the implementation of remaining sections of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) and the hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) on 7 November at column556 and to my reply to him on 10 November at column 825.
§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will direct regional and district health authorities not to proceed with closure of National Health Service institutions where adequate plans have not been made and where the local authorities concerned are not able to offer accommodation and services to the people accommodated in that National Health Service care.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
As has been made clear in previous statements, we will not approve the closure of NHS institutions unless it can be demonstrated that adequate alternatives for care have been developed. Procedures were outlined in the circular "Discharge of Patients from hospital" (HC(89)5) sent to all health and local authorities earlier this year. A copy has been placed in the Library. In addition, from 1 April, all district health authorities will be required to have instituted a "care programme" approach for the continuing care of mentally 193W ill people being treated in the community to ensure that their needs are assessed before discharge and arrangements are made to meet their needs.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Health authorities and local authorities are statutorily obliged to collaborate in the planning and development of community care services. Joint consultative committees are required to be set up in every DHA area, involving representatives of health and local authorities and the voluntary sector. Information is not held centrally on the specific form of agreements reached at local level on plans for community care, although health authorities are held to account for their performance as part of the annual review process.
§ Mr. Anthony Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the Government's White Paper on community care will be published.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I am pleased to be able to announce that our White Paper, "Caring for People: Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond" will be published on Thursday 16 November. It will set out the Government's proposals for the future organisation and management of community care, building on the broad conclusions which I outlined in my statement to the House on 12 July, following consideration of Sir Roy Griffiths' report. It will take account of discussions we have subsequently held with leading organisations and professional bodies in the community care field, including the voluntary sector, as well as the many views and responses we have received.