§ 53. Mr. John Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what initiatives are being taken to promote a better quality of care for patients.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The White Paper reforms aim to provide a better National Health Service with more 521W attention to quality of care and customer service flowing from greater devolution, the separation of purchaser and provider functions and the introduction of contracts, wider choice and the extension of medical and clinical audit. These proposals are being reinforced by a £10 million programme of project-based initiatives to make the consumers' interest more central to the management and delivery of health care. The Government have also initiated talks with the royal colleges and other statutory bodies with an interest on assessing clinical standards in the National Health Service after implementation of the reforms. A first meeting took place on 4 April, when broad agreement was reached on the need to adopt a multi-professional approach by setting up a national clinical standards advisory group.