§ Mr. Denham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the implementation of Standard 6 of the National Service Framework for Mental Health; 
(2) what indication he has given of the priority that the Government expects the NHS and social services departments to give to the achievement of Government targets for carers of people with mental health problems. 562W
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
The national service framework (NSF) for mental health provides rationale and evidence base for a national standard for mental health services relating to carers of people with mental health problems.
In accordance with this NSF standard, all individuals who provide regular and substantial care for a person on the care programme approach should have an assessment of their caring, physical and mental health needs repeated on at least an annual basis. People who provide regular and substantial care for a person on the care programme approach are also entitled to have their own written care plan, which is given to them and implemented in discussion with them.
The Department published "Developing Services for Carers and Families of People with Mental Illness" in November 2002, the recommendations of which are being taken forward by the National Institute for Mental Health in England.
The importance of support for carers was further emphasised in the NHS Plan (2000) and in the priorities and planning framework 2003–06 issued to local services.
Progress on the development of robust local delivery plans for all the targets set out in the NHS Plan is assessed by the Department in partnership with strategic health authorities. In addition, progress is reported by an annual self-assessment exercise undertaken by mental health trusts.