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Health written question – answered on 10th December 2001.

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Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Labour, Brentford and Isleworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the level of health care administered by local health authorities to sufferers of lymphoedema.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Conservative, Henley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what system is used in the funding of lymphoedema clinics; if he will take steps to encourage a uniform service; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State, Department of Health

It is the role of health authorities, in partnership with primary care groups and trusts, to decide what services to provide for their populations including those with lymphoedema. They are best placed to understand local health needs and commission services to meet them.

We are currently developing a National Service Framework (NSF) for long-term conditions. The precise scope of the NSF has not yet been decided. Although it may not address lymphoedema directly, the NSF is likely to set general standards which will improve the quality of treatment and care for all people living with long-term conditions. It will help overcome problems of patchy provision of services. The Department is consulting the Long Term Medical Conditions Alliance, of which the Lymphoedema Support Network is a member, on the development of the NSF.

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