§ Dr. Ladyman
Worcestershire Royal Hospital is currently engaged in Wave 1 of the NHS Modernisation Agency Emergency Services Collaborative programme. Through this, we would expect the collaborative methodology to review and assess the impact and effectiveness of different parts of the emergency service, including any assessment units they may have.
In July 2003, the Department of Health published a checklist for assessment units on the emergency care website at www.doh.gov.uk/emergencycare. This provides advice and recommends good operational practice. The type and size of assessment unit provided depends on the exact model of care adopted which should reflect local needs.
The Department is currently carrying out a voluntary survey of emergency assessment and observation units within acute trusts across England.
§ Dr. Ladyman
It is for local organisations to determine the health visiting work force required to deliver local and national health priorities including child health. The proposals which have been put forward by South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust are based upon the commitment to provide a family-centred health visiting service which will work with individuals, families and communities to improve child health and tackle health inequalities.
The Department of Health is currently funding a range of initiatives to support PCTs in promoting recruitment, retention and return to practice within the primary care nursing and health visiting work force.