§ 18. Mr. Olner
To ask the Secretary f State for Health what steps she is taking to assess the ability of local authority social services departments to meet their statutory functions under the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990.
§ Mr. Yeo
Implementation of the community care reforms will be thoroughly monitored and evaluated. Regional health authorities and the social services inspectorate will monitor the progress made by authorities in a series of sample studies and a comprehensive round of monitoring in the autumn. A national users and carers group will also help to give users and carers perspective on the progress made. A research programme will evaluate the effect of the reforms. We will continue to receive detailed statistical and financial information. The Audit Commission is also undertaking its own monitoring.
§ 28. Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of progress of the community care reforms in Leicestershire; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Yeo
Our new community care arrangements came into operation in all parts of the country on 1 April. It is now for local health and social services authorities to make use of the opportunities they present. Our monitoring showed Leicestershire to be well prepared to take on its new opportunities to give users and carers a better service.