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Baroness Masham of Ilton: My Lords, is the Minister aware that in some health districts mental health teams go from hospitals into GP practices or other health services in order to work together with the GPs? That supports the GPs and they learn on the job. Is the Minister aware that that happens in the Yorkshire Dales?
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, if I was not aware, I certainly am now. I am very glad to hear it. One can develop effective services in a whole range of ways. The working together of different sectors of the health service and the seconding of mental health service to primary care are important examples. Primary care groups enable GPs collectively to commission the provision of such services. They will be able to set the quality and agree on the kind of staff
Lord McNair: My Lords, does the Minister realise that people who are treated for mental illness are not first screened to see whether their symptoms are the result of a physical condition or imbalance, particularly a nutritional imbalance? Does he believe that that screening is essential? Why does it not happen? Surely, that is more important than training doctors as psychiatrists. We need to train doctors to be better doctors.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, the noble Lord always puts an interesting point of view. I have no doubt that when a GP carries out an initial assessment of a patient it is important that he has the right tools to be able to do so effectively. It is well known that patients sometimes present themselves to GPs with physical ailments when in fact ailments of the mind are the problem. The effort being undertaken, particularly into continued professional development for GPs, will enable us to address many such issues and ensure that GPs are kept up to date with developments, whether they are newly qualified or have been in practice for 30 years.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, my noble friend is certainly right to point to the value of counsellors, as other noble Lords have pointed to the value of community psychiatric nurses. There is no doubt that professional counsellors who have been well trained can provide an effective service within the GP setting. I believe that the work we are undertaking in developing a national service framework will enable us to quantify better whether there are enough counsellors. I also believe that primary care groups will be in a better position to commission those services and to enable there to be a balance of people available throughout the GP practices within the primary care group.
Lord Rowallan: My Lords, is the Minister aware that several charities have extremely extensive lists that could be useful to GPs. I refer particularly to SANE Line--I declare an interest as a director of SANE--which has a list that could be used by GPs for every circumstance that we are talking about today.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I pay tribute to the work of SANE and indeed to the noble Lord and his interest in this subject. When talking about support staff and the availability of support to primary care it is important to remember that the voluntary sector has a crucial role to play.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, we would not support any plans to perpetuate the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). We support the international community's efforts to demilitarise and transform the KLA. Part of that process is the establishment of the Kosovo Protection Corps. That will be a civilian emergency service agency, run by the UN Mission in Kosovo and supervised by KFOR. It will have no role in law enforcement. It is not an army-in-waiting or a national guard for Kosovo.
Lord Kennet: My Lords, although it is reassuring to hear that the protection force will come into being, will it be large enough, firm enough, mobile enough and so on to cope with a KLA which has now declared itself to be the national provisional government? The KLA is taking over towns and villages and expelling Serbs, gypsies and almost everybody else, which was not the idea when we took its part in the first place.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I cannot agree with the noble Lord's description of what is happening at the moment in Kosovo. It is clear that there is a real need to restore civil society. The KPC is an agency that will be used for that purpose. Few people believe that this is an easy challenge to overcome, but the KPC will make a considerable contribution to it.
Lord Hylton: My Lords, can the Minister confirm that a police force is being trained in Kosovo? Can she also say whether that police force will include Serbs and Albanians who will be trained to work together?
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I can confirm that. It is extremely important that any reconstruction programme involves all parts of the Kosovan community. Part of our hope and aspiration is that we shall find a medium through which all participants can play a part.
The Earl of Lauderdale: My Lords, can the Minister assure the House that there is no question of revising or annulling the Security Council's resolution which required the demilitarisation of the KLA?
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Absolutely, my Lords. The KLA has complied with all the conditions that have been laid on it. Of course, we cannot guarantee that absolutely every cache of arms has been discovered or disclosed because extremists will always find a way. However, we can assure the House that the KLA has complied with all the conditions that have been set.
Lord Whaddon: My Lords, is my noble friend aware of the report from the Macedonian news agency that Albania is to open an embassy in Kosovo? Does she think that that will help or hinder a peaceful settlement?
Lord Judd: My Lords, my noble friend has said that the internal security force will be accountable to the UN administration. Does she not agree that any security arrangements, internal or external, should be accountable as soon as possible to political institutions within Kosovo and to the Kosovar people themselves? Can she assure the House that the Government are doing everything possible to promote the circumstances in which genuine, free elections can take place in Kosovo before long?
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I can assure the House that all the efforts of the international community are directed towards re-establishing civil society in an appropriately cohesive way in Kosovo and maintaining the instruments of good government.
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