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I announced on 8 June 2010 my intention to make hospitals responsible for patients 30 days after discharge, one of the key health commitments in the coalition agreement. If a patient is readmitted during that time, the hospital will not receive any further payment for the additional treatment. Making hospitals responsible for a patient's ongoing care after discharge will create more joined-up working between hospitals and community services and may be supported by the developments in reablement and post-discharge support. This will improve quality and performance and shift the focus to the outcome for the patient.

These are the only changes I am making in-year. The remainder of the NHS Operating Framework 2010-11, which was published on 16 December 2009,

21 Jun 2010 : Column WS100

still stands and I expect the NHS to play its role when partnership approaches are needed to secure better outcomes.

Social Fund


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): My honourable friend the Minister of State for Pensions (Steve Webb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The consultation on the proposals set out in the Green Paper Social Fund Reform: Debt, Credit and Low Income Households (Cm 7750) closed on 7 June 2010. I would like to thank those who took the time to respond. Sixty-eight responses were received in total; 64 from organisations and four from individuals. The Government will now consider the responses as they develop proposals for wider welfare reform.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): My honourable friend the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries (Richard Benyon) has today made the following Statement.

I am pleased to be appointed as Waterways Minister as I am familiar with the public benefits the waterways provide and I am making this Statement to set out how I intend to take forward inland waterways policy for England and Wales. The Government consider civil society has a very valuable role to play in delivering public services as part of our commitment to creating a big society. We will therefore be continuing to look in detail at whether a third-sector model would be appropriate for British Waterways, including the possible inclusion of the Environment Agency's navigations as the other navigation authority grant aided by government. My department will be engaging a wide range of stakeholders in this work (and liaising with the Scottish Government). However I must make clear that, given the Government's overriding objective of reducing the financial deficit, no decisions on such a change will be taken until after the forthcoming spending review. In the light of this I have also decided not to proceed now with a new government waterways strategy and I will review the situation following the spending review.

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