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Child Support Agency

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if the CSA has a remit to re-examine its original decision to cover the new partner of child and mother; [153611]

Angela Eagle: The Child Support Agency (CSA) will re-examine the original decision on a case if there has been a change in circumstances, including where there is a new partner of the parent with care.

Whenever the CSA revises or supersedes a decision on a case, both parents are notified of the new decision and how it has been arrived at. Either parent can ask the CSA to look at the decision again within one month of being notified if they think that the decision is wrong. If the CSA accepts that there has been a mistake, it will correct it straight away. In re-examining a decision the CSA will check that the law has been applied correctly to the facts of the case.

Either parent can also appeal against the CSA's decision to an independent tribunal who will consider whether the Agency applied the law correctly.

If neither parent asks for their case to be looked at again, the CSA will not look at the case unless a periodic case check is carried out.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 26 February 2001, Official Report, column 535W, on the Child Support Agency, (1) if he will provide a breakdown for each category for each council area in Scotland; [153700]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows.

The total number of letters of complaint received by the Child Support Agency's Scotland and North Eastern Business Unit in 1999-2000 was 3,078. This covers the whole of Scotland, Northumberland, North East England and parts of North Yorkshire.

The total number of letters of complaint received between April 2000 and 28 February 2001 is 2,362. The categories are shown as follows.

15 Mar 2001 : Column: 716W

Category of complaints1999-20002000-01
Delay/Failure to take appropriate action1,4611,521
Incorrect action725706
Complaints about staff190161
Disclosure of information6548
Good cause165
Human Rights Act 026

(32) Year to date


The total number of complaints is higher than the number of letters because some letters of complaint covered more than one subject.

Elderly Residents (North-west)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people aged over 65 were resident in (a) Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) the North West in 1997; and how many are resident today. [153218]

Miss Melanie Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Nigel Evans, dated 14 March 2001:

Estimated resident population mid-1997 and mid-1999(33)

Total population Population over 65
North West6,884.66,880.51,018.01,013.5
Lancashire County1,134.51,137.1177.1176.8
Blackburn with Darwen UA139.4138.417.817.5
Blackpool UA151.2150.027.727.1
Ribble Valley53.
Former County of Lancashire(34)1,425.11,425.5222.6221.4

(33) Data refer to boundaries as defined in 1999 after local government reorganisation.

(34) The former county of Lancashire is the area covered by the current Lancashire county and the unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool.


Office for National Statistics, Crown Copyright 2000

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many Benefit Fraud Inspectorate reports have been published to date; and if he will list the six reports which give greatest concern to his Department. [153786]

Mr. Rooker: To date, the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) has published 86 reports on local authorities and two reports on DSS agencies. BFI inspections are tailored to the particular practices and needs of each authority. The resulting recommendations are unique to each authority so a direct comparison between authorities is not possible.

15 Mar 2001 : Column: 717W

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will publish the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate report on Wirral Metropolitan Council; and if he will make a statement. [153790]

Mr. Rooker: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire (Mr. Taylor) on 8 March 2001, Official Report, column 298W.


Electronic Health Records

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the timescale for implementation of electronic health records in the National Health Service; on what basis the final scheme will be chosen; if it will be funded entirely from existing NHS funds; and what benefits the electronic health record system is expected to bring to the National Health Service. [144702]

Ms Stuart: The target in "Information for Health" is for the implementation of a first-generation Electronic Health Record (EHR) by March 2005. The work currently being undertaken by the Electronic Record Development and Implementation Programme (ERDIP) and related initiatives will inform the decision-making process on whether a single or a number of solutions is the way forward.

We are supporting the service in implementing the strategy, of which the EHR is a key component, with additional funding. Announcements over the last 12 months have increased, by £1,061 million, the amount that will be available to health authorities over the period April 2000 to March 2004 for information management and technology.

"Information for Health" does not specifically describe the benefits of the EHR for patients and staff in isolation but rather as a mix of EHR and Electronic Patient Records (EPR) benefits. These can be summarised as:

Sterilisation Services

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role he has in the selection of registered authorised persons who monitor sterilisation services in the NHS; and what funding his Department gives them. [143956R]

Mr. Denham: The register of Authorised Persons (Sterilizers) AP(S) is maintained by the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management who have delegated authority from the Department to do this. The Department retains ultimate responsibility through National Health Service Estates. To become registered as an AP(S), candidates must pass a 5-facet selection process, which includes examination and interview.

15 Mar 2001 : Column: 718W

Under the current arrangements NHS Trusts employ the services of the AP(S) directly and pay for this from their operational budgets. There are no central funding mechanisms in place for this service.

NHS Estates has initiated a 5-yearly review of the current structure against a strategy of minimising risk for the NHS. This will include discussions with the NHS and industry and may result in revision of the existing structure and/or the development of a completely new infrastructure. The review will be completed later this year.

Waiting Lists

Mr. Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for admission to hospitals, including suspended patients but not including self-referred cases, (a) nationally, (b) in each health authority and (c) in each NHS trust in (i) 1987, (ii) 1992 and (iii) in each year since 1995. [149437]

Mr. Denham: The information requested has been placed in the Library. Information from national health service trusts is not available for 1987 as they did not exist then.

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