§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the Single Assessment Process as referred to on page 172 of the National Service Framework for Older People. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
Detailed guidance on the single assessment process for older people was published in January 2002. Since then, primary care trusts and councils, in consultation with a range of local interests, have been implementing the guidance. All localities reviewed their progress during the summer of 2002 and reported to their strategic health authorities. Where appropriate, information from these reports was shared with the Social Services Inspectorate (further progress reports for 2003 are being finalised).
As part of the routine monitoring of councils' performance, the Social Services Inspectorate pays particular attention to the single assessment progress. In 1012W January and February 2003, the Department of Health held two implementation conferences for all those leading the implementation of the single assessment process at local level. Final implementation is planned for April 2004.