§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment the Social Services Inspectorate has made of the use and effectiveness of IT within social services departments in order to monitor the targets set in the Joint Guidance on Priorities for the NHS and Social Services. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The targets in the National Priorities Guidance "Modernising Health and Social Services" comprise of some which rely on National Health Service data, some of which rely on social services data and others relating to process which do not require the collection of quantitative data. The quantified targets relating to social services are all supported by existing Departmental statistical collections or by currently proposed collections for the year 1999–2000.417W
In 1997, the Social Services Inspectorate published a national overview report of social services department's information strategies. In addition the Department has recently completed a special study of the information which social services departments have at their disposal to inform their commissioning of services for older people. It is anticipated that a report will be published shortly.