§ Mr. Galbraith
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to take to monitor the effect on carers of the return of patients to the community; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The Government recognise the important role played by carers and their own need for support. Funding has been provided to establish a Scottish office for the Carers National Association. In preparing community care plans local authorities will take account of the views of organisations representing carers; and in assessing the needs of individuals for community care services local authorities will take account of the support being provided by any informal carers and their ability to continue offering it. The recently introduced complaints procedure will offer improved rights for uses of services to complain if the services they receive are inadequate. All these aspects of community care will be monitored by the Scottish Office.