HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 cc374-5W
Mrs. Calton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact on long-term conditions, with particular reference to eczema, psoriasis and acne, if they are omitted from the National Service Framework on long-term conditions. [97981]

Jacqui Smith

The national service framework for long-term conditions will have a particular focus on neurological conditions, and brain and spinal injuries.

But in so doing, it will also tackle some of the common issues which are relevant to a wider range of people with long-term conditions generally and help to drive up the quality of treatment and care.

In September 2000, the NHS Modernisation Agency established the Action on Dermatology programme. Around £35 million has been invested in capital projects since then. Action on Dermatology—Good Practice Guidance was published on 20 January 2003 and issued to dermatology departments in primary care trusts and strategic health authorities. This will help ensure that people with dermatological conditions have access to appropriate services and support across the country.

In December 2001, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued Referral Practice, a guide to appropriate referral from general to specialist services. The booklet includes the suggested referral practice for atopic eczema in children and psoriasis. A copy of the booklet is available at http://www.nice.orq.uk/pdf/Referraladvice.pdf