§ Mr. Alfred Morris
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the working relationships between health authorities and social services departments; if he will list examples of successful joint action in providing care in the community for people with special needs; what proposals he has for encouraging closer working together; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Burns
Joint working between health and social services is a key feature of our community care monitoring. This shows that, although there are still improvements to make, there are many examples of good practice around the country covering groups of people with a range of needs. To assist authorities develop their collaborative working we published "Practical Guidance on Joint Commissioning" in 1995, copies of which are available in the Library. A development programme, which includes a series of locality workshop to encourage and enable authorities to develop their joint commissioning further, is taking this work forward.