§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the work of the new Disability and Carers Service and the arrangements for handling of individual cases in which other services within the Department may also be involved. 
§ Maria Eagle
[holding answer 26 March 2002]: The Disability and Carers Service aims to provide a responsive, consistent and reliable service in administering Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and Invalid Care Allowance. It is working with other parts of the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that a quality service is available to all customers from April 2002.
All DWP businesses operate within a single Department and the customer of one should be treated as the customer of all. Any customer who contacts a DWP business outlet that is not focused upon their particular needs, will be helped to find the assistance they need as quickly as possible and with the minimum of inconvenience. This may mean redirecting them and telephoning in advance, or arranging an appointment on their behalf. Comprehensive guidance has been issued to staff setting out the standards of service we expect when the needs of customers span more than one business.