§ Bob Spink
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the level of unsatisfied demand for podiatry and chiropody services in Essex. 
§ Mr. Lammy
Primary care trusts (PCTs) are best placed to assess the needs of the local community. They are now responsible for providing local national health 927W service services, including chiropody, and have to clinically prioritise their services to meet local demand. Each PCT is free to determine its local priority criteria.
§ Bob Spink
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he will take to increase the provision of chiropody and podiatry care in the South of England; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the impact of the introduction of commissioning primary care trusts on the provision of podiatry and chiropody services in the South of England; 
(3) if he will issue guidance to PCTs setting out the level of service that should be provided for podiatry and chiropody by patient classification; 
(4) if he will issue a national strategy on the provision of podiatry and chiropody services. 166342]
§ Jacqui Smith
We have no plans to issue any guidance on the level or strategic provision of podiatry and chiropody services. Chiropody/podiatry services are essential parts of the national service frameworks for older people and diabetes as stated the Department's literature. We have also launched a national primary and care trust programme designed to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in delivering their key functions which will be:
- Improving the health of the community
- Securing the provision of high quality services
- Integrating health and social care locally.
As local organisations, PCTs are best placed to understand the needs of their patient populations. This will ensure that the right services are delivered to the right people in the right location at the right time.