HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 cc847-8W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many graduate primary care mental health workers there are in each NHS region. [129488]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The NHS Plan set out that one thousand new graduate primary care workers trained in brief therapy techniques of proven effectiveness will be recruited to help general practitioners manage and treat mental common mental health problems. The target date set for local services through priorities and planning guidance is December 2004; training courses have just been established and arrangements to monitor recruitment are currently in hand This means that the information requested about the employment by specialised trusts of new graduate workers is not yet available.

Mr. Grieve

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps the Government are taking to improve mental health services for deaf people; and when he expects to see the results from these improvements; [130031]

(2) what action the Government are taking with regard to the consultation document, "A Sign of the Times"; [130032]

(3) what steps he plans to take to implement the proposals in the consultation document, "A Sign of the Times"; and how he plans to measure the effectiveness of the changes; [130033]

(4) what steps the Government are taking to monitor the impact of the National Services Framework for mental health services on deaf and hard of hearing patients; and what the results are. [130035]

Ms Rosie Winterton

[holding answer 16 September 2003]The Government's strategy for mental health services in England is set out in the "National Service Framework for Mental Health" which specifies seven standards that people should be able to expect from services. The National Service Framework standards apply to all people of working age who have mental health problems including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

"A Sign of the Times", a consultation document on modernising mental health services for people who are deaf, sought the views of all stakeholders on a number of proposals to improve services for deaf and deafblind users of mental health services through a consultation exercise which ended in April. The Department will publish implementation guidance later in the year that will take all responses to "A Sign of the Times" into account.

It is envisaged that the implementation guidance will set out comprehensive arrangements for performance management of the implementation process.