This White Paper sets out the Government’s proposals to reform and expand community health and social care services in order to meet local needs, especially in poorer deprived communities. Four key objectives are highlighted in the White Paper: better health prevention services with earlier intervention; increased patient choice; tackling inequalities and improving access to community services; and increased support for people with long-term needs to live independently. Specific measures include: expansion of local care settings outside hospitals; increased joint commissioning between PCTs and local authorities to improve service integration; the introduction of practice based commissioning, where GPs are given more responsibility for local health budgets; increased provision for new primary care providers to compete for PCT contracts; and the introduction of a new NHS ‘Life Check’ to promote healthier lifestyles with a pilot scheme in spearhead PCTs by 2007-08.
This Command Paper was laid before Parliament by a Government Minister by Command of Her Majesty. Command Papers are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but are not required to be presented by legislation.