§ Audrey Wise
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will recommend to health purchasers that the new provisions for pooled budgets and lead commissioning be implemented in the case of multiple sclerosis patients. 
§ Mr. Hutton
There is no restriction on the client groups that can benefit from the new provisions. It is for health and local government partners to agree how best to 377W provide services to meet the needs of people in their area. The new provisions give authorities the flexibility to do this and the opportunity to consider innovative new arrangements. Directing authorities, in the first instance, on how to use the flexibilities would run counter to this. However, as the flexibilities start to bed down and lessons are learnt we will wish to spread good practice.