§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals for future arrangements for the provision of cleft lip and palate services will be put to residents in the North West; and what arrangements will be made to encourage those in health-deprived areas to participate in a consultation on these services. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 4 June 2003]The three strategic health authorities in the north west—Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside and Cumbria and Lancashire—held a joint board and agreed to conduct a joint consultation on the options for the future delivery of cleft lip and palate services in the north west.
It is proposed that one consultation document will be published and circulated to a wide range of organisations in accordance with the new arrangements for patient and public involvement.
It is anticipated that the formal consultation will commence at the end of June/beginning of July 2003.