§ Mr. Baron:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress towards the development of the National Service Framework for long-term conditions. 79W
§ Dr. Ladyman
[holding answer 2 December 2003]The national service framework (NSF) for long term conditions will focus on improving the standard of neurology services across England. It will also address some of the generic issues that are important to people with non-neurological disabilities, such as access to rehabilitation services; provision of good quality information; support for carers; and, access to community equipment, assistive technology and wheelchairs.
We appointed the external reference group last November and have since set up several working groups which have been making recommendations and considering areas and issues for proposed standards. We are making good progress and currently plan to publish the NSF at the end of next year for implementation from 2005.