HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 c61W
Jackie Ballard

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to implement the recommendations in the report from the Working Party on Multiple Sclerosis produced by the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine. [81342]

Mr. Hutton

The report, "A Survey of Multiple Sclerosis Provision in England 1998–99", was produced by the Association for Quality in Healthcare in November 1998 on behalf of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

We have set out our plans to address unacceptable variations in services via a modernisation programme to deliver more consistent and higher quality care for patients. We remain committed to improving standards of healthcare and to ensuring that newer treatments, including new medicines, are introduced into the National Health Service as fast as possible where they represent a genuine therapeutic advance and are cost effective.

In addition, the move to new commissioning arrangements will bring about improvements in services for people with conditions like MS. Longer term agreements, reflecting dialogue between clinicians and focusing on health improvement and quality objectives, will increase the emphasis on programmes of care that cross the traditional boundaries to meet patients needs best.