CHANGES to the NHS will protect specialised care provided by bodies such as the city's Spinal Injuries Association, the health secretary has promised.
Andrew Lansley made the assurance after a prompt from Mark Lancaster, who visited the SIA last Friday to celebrate its £5,600 Big Lottery Fund win.
There are fears that, as NHS budgets are put in the hands of local clinicians, specialised care such as that for those paralysed following spinal injuries, would be overlooked.
But Mr Lansley said that the NHS commissioning board will actually be able to provide more consistency in much specialised commissioning.
During the House of Commons debate he added: "I am well acquainted with the work of the Spinal Injuries Association: I think that it has done terrific work, and we have already worked closely with it in trying to ensure that we improve commissioning and services for those with spinal injuries."
After the debate Mr Lancaster said: "I was delighted to receive personal reassurances over fundamental services such as the SIA from the Secretary of State, which I have passed onto the Oldbrook charity. While I very much support the grassroots, local control of health budgets, I do understand concerns that this would overlook the rarer types of care."
The SIA, which opened in 2005, provides care and support for many of the thousand people who suffer a spinal cord injury each