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Commission for Health Improvement

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will define the role and terms of reference of the Commission for Health Improvement. [1410]

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Mr. Hutton: The role of the Commission is set out in section 20 of the Health Act 1999 and further defined in the Commission for Health Improvement (Functions) Regulations 2000. The main functions are:


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures (a) have been and (b) will be introduced to help carers who look after those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. [1179]

Jacqui Smith: We fully recognise the vital role played by carers and are doing much to improve the support and services available to help them in their caring role.

Our approach to support carers is outlined in "Caring About Carers", the report of the National Carers Strategy which highlighted the need for better information for carers, better support for carers and better care for carers. Two of the objectives of the strategy were to ensure more breaks are available to carers and to provide services direct to carers and to support them in their caring role through the carers grants.

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We will increase the amount of money put aside specifically to support carers in England through the carers grant from £50 million last year to £70 million this year, £85 million in 2002–03 and £100 million in 2003–04; this will be an important step towards ensuring that up to 75,000 more carers receive a break from their caring duties.

In addition to this, The National Service Framework for Older People was published on 27 March 2001. The NSF builds the needs and appropriate support of carers into all the standards it sets.

Standard 7 of the NSF relates to mental health and will ensure that older people with dementia and depression have access to integrated health services to ensure effective diagnosis, treatment and support for them and their carers.

Importantly, this standard will also ensure that carers receive the information, advice and practical help such as counselling services or short-term breaks to support them in caring for the older person.

Junior Doctors

Dr. Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he estimates that junior doctors will be required to work a maximum of 56 hours a week. [R] [1483]

Mr. Hutton: Monitoring carried out at the end of March 2001 indicated that only some 21 per cent. of junior doctors were still working more than 56 hours a week.

From 1 August this year, pre-registration house officers will by contract be limited to an average 56 hours a week maximum, and all other junior doctors, Senior House Officers and Specialist Registrars, will be similarly protected from August 2003.


Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will set out, for each Department where responsibilities have been changed since 8 June, the areas of responsibility that have been transferred (a) from and (b) to each Department from other Departments; and what new responsibilities have been assigned. [1156]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 June 2001]: The information is contained in press notices which I have placed in the Libraries of the House.

Cabinet Champions

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the Cabinet champions he has appointed to date. [1155]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 June 2001]: I have appointed the Cabinet. From time to time I invite Ministers to take on additional roles. For example, my right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Darling) continues to be a champion for older people.

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European Affairs

Mr. Spring: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the Ministers in each Government Department with responsibility for European affairs. [855]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 June 2001]: The Minister for Europe in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Peter Hain). Practice on the allocation of responsibility for European matters in other Departments varies. Some designate a single Minister to deal with all European matters, but most divide responsibilities between several Ministers, including the ministerial head of the Department, as appropriate.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Spring: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the items discussed and the conclusions reached during his meeting with the President of the European Commission on 25 June. [1148]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 28 June 2001]: I had a productive working breakfast with the President of the European Commission on 25 June. We discussed a range of EU issues, including enlargement, the ongoing debate on the future of the Union and the EU economy. On the latter subject, we briefly discussed the progress of the euro, on which I emphasised that the Government's policy remained unchanged. I also reiterated the Government's strong commitment to an economic reform agenda capable of realising the objective set at the Lisbon Council last year for the EU to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

Cabinet Committees

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to establish a Cabinet sub-committee on foreign affairs which would include non-Government members. [1740]

The Prime Minister: None.

Public Services

Mr. Jack: To ask the Prime Minister if he will define the phrase "world class" in the context of his recent speech relating to public services. [1649]

The Prime Minister: Our agenda on public service reform is clear. We want to improve our public services through a combination of investment and reform. First, we will set high minimum standards in every public service. Secondly, we will build public services around the consumer. And thirdly, we will put the front-line of public service provision first.

International Law

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Prime Minister what his policy is on advising (a) Parliament and (b) Her Majesty the Queen about violations of sovereignty and international law in the UK. [1953]

The Prime Minister: The Government's policy is to keep Her Majesty The Queen and Parliament informed of significant developments in our international relations.

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Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to mitigate poverty in the United Kingdom. [1755]

The Prime Minister: The Government's objectives for tackling poverty are set out in their Second Annual Report on tackling poverty and social exclusion "Opportunity for all: one year on—making a difference" (Cm 4865—September 2000).



Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students were in higher education on (a) 1 May 2000 and (b) 1 May 2001; and what is the projected figure for 1 May 2002. [24]

Margaret Hodge: The available information is given in the following table:

Higher education students(3) in England—as at 1 December


(3) Full-time and part-time, postgraduate and undergraduate, home and overseas, including the Open University

(4) Actual

(5) Provisional

(6) Projected


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) female and (b) male (1) primary and (2) secondary school teachers are aged (i) 20 to 24, (ii) 25 to 29, (iii) 30 to 34, (iv) 35 to 39, (v) 40 to 44, (vi) 45 to 49, (vii) 50 to 54, (viii) 55 to 59, (ix) 60 to 65, (x) 65 to 70 and (xi) 70 years plus. [388]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 25 June 2001]: Full-time teachers by age in the maintained nursery, primary and secondary school sector in England at March 1999 (the latest date available), as published in the DfEE publication "Statistics of Education: Teachers: England and Wales: 2000 edition" were as follows:

Nursery/primary Secondary
Age of teacherMen WomenTotalMenWomenTotal
Under 259009,0009,8001,9004,3006,200
25 to 293,10023,20026,3008,80015,70024,600
30 to 343,30016,10019,4008,90011,20020,000
35 to 393,00011,60014,6009,40010,00019,400
40 to 443,90020,10024,00013,30015,30028,600
45 to 496,60030,80037,40020,20019,40039,700
50 to 545,20022,10027,20014,90013,20028,100
55 to 591,5007,5009,0004,3004,6008,900
60 to 642001,0001,2008008001,500
65 and over(7)100100(7)(7)100
All ages27,770141,400169,10082,50094,500177,100

(7) Less than 50 teachers


Totals may not be the sum of the component parts because of rounding

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