HL Deb 17 March 2005 vol 670 cc47-8WS
Lord Warner

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Community (Dr Ladyman) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In February 2001, my right honourable friend the then Secretary of State for Health (Mr Alan Milburn) announced that the department would be developing a new national service framework (NSF) with a particular focus on the needs of people with neurological conditions. I am pleased to announce that the long-term conditions NSF is today being published. It is an integral part of this Government's overall strategy to improve services for people with long-term conditions.

This NSF covers the full range of issues for people with neurological conditions across health and social care. It has been developed through active consultation with key stakeholders, including people who use services and their carers, and the direct participation of experts and practitioners from the field.

Although the NSF focuses on people with neurological conditions, much of the guidance it offers can apply to anyone living with a non-neurological long-term condition. Commissioners will therefore be encouraged to use the NSF in planning service developments for people with other long-term conditions.

The long-term conditions NSF is an evidence-based, 10-year strategy, which advocates a cultural shift in the provision of care, with services being designed and delivered around the needs of people and their families. It highlights the need for high-quality services that offer choice and are prompt, convenient and responsive and that look at the "whole person", rather than at a presenting illness or problem.

The broad remit of the NSF is covered in 11 quality requirements, which are:

  • A person-centred service
  • Early recognition, prompt diagnosis and treatment
  • Emergency and acute management
  • Early and specialist rehabilitation
  • Community rehabilitation and support
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Providing equipment and accommodation
  • Providing personal care and support
  • Palliative care
  • Supporting family and carers
  • Caring for people with neurological conditions in hospital or other health and social care settings

The long-term conditions NSF has been developed in line with this government's wider public sector reforms, to devolve power and responsibility to local agencies. While the NSF sets out the levels of service quality which we expect to be available by 2015, the pace of change is to be left to local National Health Service and social care discretion to determine, and will be balanced against other priorities. The costs of implementing the NSF will be met from the additional resources announced in the 2004 spending review for the NHS and adult personal social services.

Copies of the NSF for long-term conditions have been placed in the Library.