§ Mr. McCrindle
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration has been given to the effect on the need for patients with long-term care needs to develop a relationship of trust with health care providers of proposals for health authorities to buy in the necessary services from different sources; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
The Government fully recognise the importance of trust between patients and those caring for them. Under our proposals district health authorities will have a responsibility to ensure that the health care services available to their resident populations are comprehensive and of a high standard. Continuity of treatment will remain an important consideration. Contracts will specify periods of notice to ensure that any changes in the provision of services are introduced without disruption or inconvenience to patients.