HC Deb 06 December 1999 vol 340 c445W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he will issue guidelines setting out which services primary care trusts will manage; [101411]

(2) if it will be possible for new primary care trusts to provide (a) acute elders' services, (b) children's services, (c) maternity services and (d) services for those with learning difficulties. [101408]

Mr. Denham

Only Level 4 primary care trusts will be permitted to directly provide primary health care services. The range and nature of these services will be defined individually, by the outcome of local consultation. PCTs will not be able to provide acute services; however, a key part of their role will be to commission these services from a secondary care provider. As existing guidance ("Primary Care Trusts: Establishing Better Services") states, PCTs will adopt the commissioning role previously employed by Health Authorities.

Guidance on the establishment, preparatory period and functions of PCTs is currently being prepared and will be issued in late December. This will further outline the PCT role in commissioning and developing community health services.

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