HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 cc1220-1W
Dr. Naysmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are being taken within primary care trust areas to ensure that sufficient information is given to mental health service users to enable them to make informed choices before drugs are prescribed and throughout treatment. [60565]

Jacqui Smith

Empowering patients to take an active role in their care is a key theme in the NHS Plan. We know that people are more likely to take their medicines correctly when they understand and agree with their treatment, and have been active partners in prescribing decisions. The NHS Plan set a target for all primary care trusts to have schemes in place so that people get more help from pharmacists in using their medicines by 2004. We are also investing in medicines management services including through the medicines management collaborative hosted by the national prescribing centre.

These actions are underscored by standards two and three of the national service framework for mental health and by targets set for those with severe mental illness in the service and financial framework for 2001–02 and the priorities and planning framework for 2002–03; they set out how copies of care plans should be provided for patients. The task force on medicines partnership, established in January 2002, also aims to improve the use of medicines in the National Health Service by involving patients as partners in prescribing decisions and supporting them in medicine-taking.

In addition, all National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) appraisals and guidance have sections designed for patients themselves to provide up to date information on the management of their conditions to help them make informed choices about their treatment. Information about this is available from the NICE website at: www.nice.org.uk

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