§ Mr. Riddick
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were the key results of the NHS executive-social services inspectorate's monitoring of the implementation of the guidance on NHS responsibilities for meeting continuing health care; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bowis
We have recently written to health and local authorities outlining the key results of the monitoring work carried out by the national health service executive and social services inspectorate and highlighting recommendations for further action. Copies of the letter have been placed in the Library.
The monitoring work suggests that the majority of health authorities have made good progress in preparing to implement the guidance. This has been effective where 447W health and local authorities have worked together closely. There are also issues on which progress in some parts of the country has been less encouraging. We have indicated our commitment to ensuring that these issues are addressed.
Work on continuing health care will continue to be a priority for the NHS during 1996–97 and beyond to ensure the full implementation of the guidance. Health authorities, working closely with local authorities, will need to monitor closely the impact of their eligibility criteria and to develop further services to meet continuing health care needs. The letter highlights the key priorities for further work. The NHS executive and social services inspectorate will continue to monitor implementation closely and will make further reports on progress in due course.