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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations she has received concerning conditions in state orphanages in China; and if she will make a statement. [112831]

Mr. Foulkes: We have received no recent representations concerning conditions in state orphanages in China. Our Department support efforts to reform and improve the conditions for children in care. We are currently supporting a British NGO to work with the Chinese authorities to improve the conditions of children who are institutionalised, many of whom are orphans.


Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will publish the results of the review, conducted by her Department in 1998-99, of the activities of the European Children's Trust in

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Romania supported by the Know-how Fund; what action was taken by her Department as a result of that review; and if she will make a statement. [113127]

Mr. Foulkes: I assume the review to which the hon. Member refers concerns a report that DFID commissioned by the National Institute of Social Work in 1998. This report evaluated a programme of child welfare activities in Romania that we supported between 1995 and 1998, undertaken by the European Children's Trust. I will place a copy of the report, which was passed to the Romanian authorities, in the Library of the House. No specific action was necessary as a result of the report, but relevant lessons identified by the report's authors have been taken into account in discussions on further assistance in this field, currently under way with the Romanian Government.


Retinitis Pigmentosa and Usher Syndrome

Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in the UK suffering from (a) retinitis pigmentosa and (b) Usher syndrome. [111994]

Mr. Denham: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society estimates that there are 25,000 people with the condition in the United Kingdom; figures for the incidence of Usher syndrome in Britain are incomplete.

Indemnity Cover (GPs)

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how he will assess whether a provider of approved indemnity cover for GPs has sufficient reserves to meet its liabilities; [112413]

Mr. Denham: Section 9 of the Health Act 1999 gives the Secretary of State power to require Part II practitioners to hold approved indemnity cover with an approved body. The Secretary of State has power in Regulations to prescribe the circumstances in which such cover shall be required, and the terms for the cover.

This enables the Secretary of State to ensure that cover will be approved only if it is adequate to meet the anticipated level of claims. This will apply both to cover provided by the medical protection organisations and commercial insurers. It is intended that the regulations will ensure through the approval mechanism that cover will still meet claims that arise from events when the clinician was covered but only come to light later, even if

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this is after the period of cover has ceased. Other criteria are currently the subject of consultation with interested organisations.

The purpose of section 9 is to provide greater protection to patients awarded damages following negligence claims. The approval process will be open and transparent, the intention will be to ensure the highest level of protection reasonably achievable in the current climate.

NHS Funding

Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which regional development agencies have to date submitted representations to his Department regarding the level of NHS funding. [112359]

Mr. Denham: I am not aware of any representations from regional development agencies to the Department regarding the level of National Health Service funding.

Health Authority Budgets

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the budget per head of population for each health authority area in England for 1999-2000. [112747]

Mr. Denham: The table shows the health authority allocations per weighted head of population for 1999-2000.

1999-2000 allocation (9)Allocation per weighted head of population
Health authority£000£
Barking and Havering256,500623
Bexley and Greenwich289,039662
Brent and Harrow310,879649
Bury and Rochdale249,286622
Calderdale and Kirklees369,064631
Cambridge and Huntingdon233,706621
Camden and Islington320,971651
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly317,079643
County Durham411,001613
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow475,900625
East and North Hertfordshire290,037624
East Kent395,915640
East Lancashire349,892624
East London and The City491,634603
East Norfolk380,037633
East Riding360,233626
East Surrey244,052641
East Sussex, Brighton and Hove505,366642
Enfield and Haringey323,495633
Gateshead and South Tyneside255,537625
Isle of Wight92,390674
Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster286,339576
Kingston and Richmond208,380644
Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham573,116628
Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth422,995643
Morecambe Bay205,730656
Newcastle and North Tyneside333,829634
North and East Devon300,720640
North and Mid Hampshire291,934638
North Cheshire201,585639
North Cumbria198,917630
North Derbyshire228,364626
North Essex503,561624
North Nottinghamshire236,475621
North Staffordshire304,458614
North West Anglia250,526616
North West Lancashire321,635626
North Yorkshire434,879626
Portsmouth and South East Hampshire330,353627
Redbridge and Waltham Forest296,944658
Salford and Trafford310,166644
South and West Devon383,565641
South Cheshire405,696631
South Derbyshire340,745615
South Essex417,802607
South Humber199,138650
South Lancashire185,797643
South Staffordshire322,868633
Southampton and South West Hamptonshire327,774629
St. Helens and Knowsley237,210627
West Hertfordshire317,538638
West Kent562,935632
West Pennine297,286618
West Surrey371,000643
West Sussex467,090624
Wigan and Bolton373,322608

(9) Includes targeted funding for health authorities with HAZs

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London Hospital Trusts

Mr. McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the actions being taken by the Government with the London health authorities to reduce the deficits of the London hospital health trusts. [112684]

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Mr. Denham: The London Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive is working closely with health authorities and HNS trusts managing difficult financial positions. Health authorities and NHS trusts are expected to agree plans to achieve financial balance over the shortest possible period.

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