§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that people with mental handicap and mental illness are enabled to give their views about their community care needs during the assessment procedure.
§ Mr. Dorrell
It is important that proper opportunities are provided for patients to take part in discussions relating to different treatment possibilities; and to agree the programme to be implemented. Our White Paper "Caring for People" stressed that the views of the person requiring care, and those of his or her carers, should be taken into account during the assessment procedure. This includes people with a mental handicap or mental illness. In our guidance to authorities we intend to underline the requirement for assessment procedures to take account of the views of all types of users and their carers.