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PRIMARY CARE ROLE STRESSED

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Councils will have a vital role to play in primary care groups, the government's replacement for GP fundholding, he...
Councils will have a vital role to play in primary care groups, the government's replacement for GP fundholding, health minister Baroness Hayman told the House of Lords this week.

Speaking in a debate on the care of people with learning disabilities the minister said: 'With the introduction and establishment of primary care groups we have a unique opportunity for the key partners - they include social services and other branches of local authority services - to test new approaches to joint commissioning and more integrated provision.'

She was replying to Liberal Democrat Lord Clement-Jones, who spoke of 'problems and uncertainties' surrounding the commissioning of mental health services, particularly over the provisions and responsibilities of NHS regions, social services and primary care groups.
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