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HEALTH

Alcohol Strategy

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress there has been on the National Alcohol Strategy; and if he will make a statement. [111086]

Yvette Cooper: The Department is committed to tackling alcohol misuse including its impact on our key priorities of cancer, heart disease and mental health and are continuing to work with key stakeholders across Government, the alcohol field and the alcohol industry, on a coherent and balanced framework for action that we plan to publish later this year.

Concrete Recycling Plants

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department have made on the impact on health of silica dust from concrete recycling plants. [111162]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 21 February 2000]: The Department has not undertaken any specific studies into the effects on health that might be produced by exposure to dust generated by recycling concrete. Crushing or drilling of concrete releases silicious dust and exposure can lead to silicosis. This is uncommon, but can occur among those exposed through their work. Regulation of levels of dust in the workplace is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive while regulation of emissions is the responsibility of the Environment Agency and local authority environmental health departments. Research shows that it is very unlikely that members of the public exposed to low concentrations of dust near to concrete crushing activity would be placed at any significantly increased risk.

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Residential and Nursing Care

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the variations in local authorities' baseline fee rates for residential and nursing care in England. [110699]

Mr. Hutton: The Social Services White Paper, "Modernising Social Services", made clear that contract prices should be determined having regard to providers' costs and planned outcomes for users. The costs of providers of residential care and nursing home care vary across the country.

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of nursing home patients means-tested by social services were granted fully-funded NHS nursing care (a) between 1980 and the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Coughlan case and (b) from the Coughlan judgment to date. [114739]

Mr. Hutton: Information is not available in the format requested. Information on people newly meeting eligibility criteria for continuing National Health Service in-patient care is collected on a quarterly basis. Between 1 April 1995 and 30 June 1999, 125,429 people newly met eligibility criteria for continuing NHS in-patient care. From 1 July 1999 to 31 December 1999 12,076 people newly met eligibility criteria for continuing in-patient care funded by the NHS. Changes in the way the data have been collected since April 1995 may mean that the figures are not comparable.

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding arrangements exist in other European Union countries for individuals whose needs are primarily for nursing rather than social care; and if he will make a statement. [114738]

Mr. Hutton: Information is not available in the format requested. Information on international provision of nursing home care in other European Union countries is contained in Chapter 6 of Research Volume 1 which accompanied the report of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care "With Respect to Old Age", copies of which are available in the Library.

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by local authority (a) the average cost per resident per week of providing accommodation in council non-residential care homes and (b) the rate paid per resident per week for accommodation in privately run residential care homes. [115117]

Mr. Hutton: Information on reported gross expenditure per week of residential placements by local councils for older people on a per capita basis in 1997-98 is contained in the Department's Key Indicator Graphical System, copies of which are available in the Library.

Coughlan Case

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reason he has not issued guidance to area health authorities following the Court of Appeal judgment in the Coughlan case; [114737]

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Mr. Hutton: We issued interim guidance on 11 August 1999 (Health Service Circular 1999/180 and Local Authority Circular (99) 30). This requires health and local authorities, in consultation with each other and, where appropriate, involving primary care groups, to satisfy themselves that their continuing and community care policies and eligibility criteria and other relevant procedures are in line with the Court of Appeal judgment on the Coughlan case and existing guidance, and to take further legal advice where necessary. The interim guidance also states that where authorities revise eligibility criteria following any review, they should consider what action they need to take to reassess service users against the revised criteria.

Revised continuing care guidance will be issued in the autumn. In the meantime we continue to monitor the situation.

NHS Walk-in Centres

Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS walk-in centres have been introduced to date; [115260]

Ms Stuart: There are 36 walk-in centre pilots approved last year. Four have opened to date, with the remaining sites to open by December 2000. Walk-in centres will improve access to and convenience of services for patients.

No decisions have been made about the number of further walk-in centres which might be developed in the future.

Private Health Care

Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he gives local authorities on the regulation of private health care. [115282]

Ms Stuart: Local authorities do not hold responsibility for the regulation of private healthcare. Private hospitals and clinics are regulated by health authorities under Part II of the Registered Homes Act 1984. Health authorities apply the Act with reference to guidance on the Registration and Inspection of Nursing Homes issued in 1985 by the then National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts. In addition, the Department issued guidance to health authorities in 1995 which was aimed at promoting a more consistent application of regulation by regulation authorities. The Care Standards Bill, currently before Parliament, seeks to introduce a new regulatory system for care homes and private and voluntary healthcare which will be administered by a single body, the National Care Standards Commission.

Elderly People (Sunderland)

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve the standard of (a) nursing and (b) residential home care of elderly people in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement. [115078]

Mr. Hutton: Nursing home standards are maintained and improved through the Nursing Homes Registration and Inspection Unit, which is the responsibility of

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Sunderland Health Authority and Sunderland Social Services. Residential care homes standards are maintained and improved through the Registration and Inspection Department, which is the responsibility of the City of Sunderland Council. In the future, the inspection and regulation of nursing homes and residential care homes will become the responsibility of the National Commission for Care Standards.

Mental Health Services (Sunderland)

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend provision for (a) hospital-based and (b) community-based mental health services in Sunderland. [115079]

Mr. Hutton: Sunderland health authority has indicated that it plans to expand provision for (a) hospital and (b) community based mental health services through the following initiatives:







Social Services

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on social services (a) nationally and (b) in London in each year from 1979 to 1999. [115104]

Mr. Hutton: Gross expenditure on local authority personal social services for England and London is provided in the table.

Local authority personal social services gross expenditure 1979-80 to 1997-98
England and London £ million

Year(5)EnglandLondon (6)
1979-801,489(7)--
1980-811,844(7)--
1981-822,038(7)--
1982-832,249(7)--
1983-842,492645
1984-852,642681
1985-862,804716
1986-873,080794
1987-883,423865
1988-893,776963
1989-904,204829
1990-914,6981,140
1991-925,1271,214
1992-935,4701,294
1993-946,2781,401
1994-957,5031,595
1995-968,3931,771
1996-979,2631,898
1997-989,9842,064

(5) Data for 1998-99 are expected to be published in May 2000

(6) Includes all 33 inner and outer London authorities

(7) Denotes information not available

Source:

RO3 return


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