HC Deb 21 March 2000 vol 346 cc519-20W
Mr. Burnett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reason he has not issued guidance to area health authorities following the Court of Appeal judgment in the Coughlan case; [114737]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that eligibility criteria issued by area health authorities following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Coughlan case are lawful. [114736]

Mr. Hutton

We issued interim guidance on 11 August 1999 (Health Service Circular 1999/180 and Local Authority Circular (99) 30). This requires health and local authorities, in consultation with each other and, where appropriate, involving primary care groups, to satisfy themselves that their continuing and community care policies and eligibility criteria and other relevant procedures are in line with the Court of Appeal judgment on the Coughlan case and existing guidance, and to take further legal advice where necessary. The interim guidance also states that where authorities revise eligibility criteria following any review, they should consider what action they need to take to reassess service users against the revised criteria.

Revised continuing care guidance will be issued in the autumn. In the meantime we continue to monitor the situation.