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Children's Carers

Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the checking procedures into (a) carers in children's homes and (b) owners of children's homes with particular reference to persons suspected of being under investigation or who have been subject to investigation by (i) the police and (ii) other authorities. [136487]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The Department maintains a list under the Protection of Children Act of persons considered to be unsuitable to work with children. The Department for Education and Employment maintains a separate list of persons barred from working in educational establishments. The Protection of Children Act 1999 requires all regulated child care organisations (including all children's homes) to check against these lists everyone they intend to employ in work that brings them into contact with children. Criminal record checks are also available and where the person being employed will have regular unsupervised contact with children the information supplied will include relevant non-conviction information.

The Children Act 1989 Guidance, Volume 4 sets out the types of checks that are expected on staff and others in children's homes with regular contact with children.

A thorough investigation is made into any organisation or private individual applying to set up a registered voluntary or private children's home. This includes making reference checks with both employment and personal referees. Applicants are asked to supply details of their employment history. Applicants must satisfy the registration authority that they have relevant experience and qualifications. If it appears that further investigation is needed the registration authority can ask the police to check if the applicant has a criminal record. These arrangements will be extended in 2001 to small private unregistered children's homes which will be required to register with local authorities for the first time.

In the future, with the introduction of the National Care Standards Commission, there will be a nationwide, comprehensive set of national minimum standards for all children's homes. These will set out the type of checks required on those owning and working in children's homes.

8 Nov 2000 : Column: 269W

TREASURY

Pensions Mis-selling

Mr. Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those employees in the financial services sector who have been disciplined by the regulatory authorities for misdeeds relating to the mis-selling of pensions, including financial penalties and those relating to terms of employment; and if he will make a statement. [135660]

Miss Melanie Johnson: No individual employees have been disciplined by the regulators for failures to pursue the review of personal pensions mis-selling. However, the Personal Investment Authority, as the main regulator for firms carrying out the review, has taken disciplinary action by fining 314 firms over £7 million in total, expelling four and reprimanding one.

Winter Deaths

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of excess winter deaths which occurred in 1999-2000, providing a breakdown for (a) each

8 Nov 2000 : Column: 270W

English region, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Great Britain by age band; and if he will provide corresponding estimates for each of the last five years. [135129]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 30 October 2000]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Steven Webb, dated 8 November 2000:


As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question asking for an estimate of the numbers of excess winter deaths which occurred in 1999-2000, providing a breakdown for each English region, Scotland, Wales and the GB figure by age band, and for corresponding estimates for each of the last five years.
Figures are provided in the attached table for English Government Office Regions and for Wales. Figures are also provided for Great Britain but were only readily obtainable for all ages. Figures for Scotland are now the responsibility of the Scottish Executive.
The figures for winter 1999-2000 are provisional and will only be finalised in October 2001 when data for all deaths occurring in 2000 becomes complete.
Excess winter deaths are defined by National Statistics as the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding autumn (August to November) and the following summer (April to July).

8 Nov 2000 : Column: 269W

Excess winter deaths by age-group and Government Office Region of usual residence, 1994-95 to 1999-2000

Age at death1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-991999-2000(16)
England
0-642,0902,7202,9301,6702,9004,140
65-745,2506,6906,5203,8906,4307,210
75-849,11013,46016,4907,41015,43015,890
85+9,31014,94018,9008,77019,25019,290
All ages25,76037,81044,85021,73044,01046,520
Wales
0-6420019012090230270
65-74270420490360540430
75-845809201,0504809301,110
85+6009101,2203501,2001,150
All ages1,6502,4402,8801,2902,9002,970
North East
0-6413025013011090310
65-74260520490360470490
75-844006509205308901,040
85+420650690550920890
All ages1,2102,0802,2201,5502,3702,720
North West
0-64230630510280630470
65-749601,0101,0705001,2301,110
75-841,4102,0602,2609802,6002,070
85+1,1901,9402,5201,0102,8802,510
All ages3,7905,6306,3602,7707,3506,170
Yorkshire and the Humber
0-64130250240210260420
65-74530820700470810690
75-841,0301,4401,8108601,8001,700
85+1,1101,5301,8809101,9001,900
All ages2,7904,0404,5502,4604,7604,710
East Midlands
0-64240170250130310400
65-74570500470360550600
75-848501,1101,2807001,5601,280
85+6601,1401,5408201,6801,620
All ages2,3302,9303,5402,0004,0903,900
West Midlands
0-64250250410250470480
65-74600880730510750970
75-847001,5801,6508001,7201,820
85+7601,4601,7409001,9202,100
All ages2,3104,1604,5302,4504,8605,370
Eastern
0-64240180250170130400
65-74550480710410640690
75-841,1101,3801,7209301,5901,810
85+1,0901,8302,3301,0202,4402,070
All ages3,0003,8705,0102,5404,8004,970
London
0-64380440430150410580
65-74530860870320670940
75-841,3701,6802,2409301,6902,080
85+1,2201,8502,3901,1202,1602,430
All ages3,5004,8305,9302,5304,9306,030
South East
0-64220310420250370720
65-746909408605608901,080
75-841,3302,2402,7709902,1902,500
85+1,7502,6703,6001,4103,2603,540
All ages3,9906,1507,6503,2006,7107,830
South West
0-64280250300120230370
65-74550680600400420640
75-849201,3201,8307001,3801,600
85+1,1001,8802,3201,0202,1002,230
All ages2,8504,1405,0602,2304,1304,830

(16) Provisional


8 Nov 2000 : Column: 271W

8 Nov 2000 : Column: 271W

Excess winter deaths, all ages, Great Britain, 1994-95 to 1999-2000

YearNumber
1994-9529,710
1995-9643,910
1996-9751,370
1997-9825,630
1998-9951,660
1999-2000(17)54,680

(17) Provisional



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