To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what guidance he has issued to older people's champions on the discharge of their responsibilities under the national service framework for older people;
(2) what response he has made to proposals he has received from Age Concern England for a pledge to be made by older people's champions;
(3) what plans he has to monitor and evaluate the role of older people's champions.
Age Concern England's "Champions Pledge" is welcomed and will help focus the thinking and development of local older people's champions.
The National Service Framework for older people provided for the appointment of older people's champions and representation across every health and social services organisation by the end of June 2001. Once details of local appointments are collected in July 2001, and before detailing their role and responsibilities further or providing guidance, we will be seeking their views and the views of national organisations that represent older people. Age Concern England has been included in discussions around this.
The national service framework for older people provides for a range of performance measures by which achievement of milestones and standards set will be judged. Careful consideration will be given to any identified need to monitor and evaluate the role of older people's champions once these discussions have taken place.