§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to issue guidance to general practitioners and primary health care teams about carers' rights under the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995; 
(2) what steps he intends to take to ensure that carers are informed of their rights under the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995; 
(3) what steps he intends to take to ensure that (a) carers receive written results of assessments carried out under the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and (b) local authority staff are informed about carers' rights. 
§ Mr. Boateng
The Department issued Policy Guidance and a Practice Guide on implementing the Act to social services departments, health authorities and National Health Service trusts in February 1996. The Guidance notes that general practitioners and other primary care staff are well placed to advise carers who are their patients of their assessment rights under the Act. The Guidance makes clear that social services departments should ensure that primary care staff have the relevant information to fulfil this role.480W
The Guidance also requires social services departments to ensure that their published information on community care tells carers about their rights under the Act. Information should be available to carers when they need it; it should be accessible to all members of the community and easy to understand.
It should also be part of routine assessment practice and, specifically, authorities are expected to inform carers who appear to be eligible under the Act of their right to request an assessment. Care plans and results of assessments should be confirmed in writing, or in a form which is accessible both to users and carers.
As part of our programme of research on community care, we are considering the impact of the Act. An inspection by the Social Services Inspectorate is also in preparation, which will look at how local authorities are implementing the Act.