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Worcestershire Community and

Mental Health NHS Trust

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the deficit of the Worcestershire Community and Mental Health NHS trust; and what steps will be taken to address it. [28248]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The Worcestershire Community and Mental Health national health service trust is projecting a £300,000 deficit against its turnover of £87 million (0.35 per cent.). I am advised that the underlying causes of the deficit are expenditure on bank and agency nursing staff, prescribed drugs and locum medical staff.

The trust has taken action to contain expenditure across the organisation, including reducing spending on locum medical staff by securing appointments to a number of consultant post vacancies.

Worcestershire health authority, Wyre Forest Primary Care Trust and prospective PCTs are currently in discussion with the trust in relation to the service and financial framework for 2002–03. I would expect the outcome of these discussions to secure a settlement which will fund the existing range of mental health services as well as developments in line with the NHS plan and National Service Framework for Mental Health and Older Adults.

Complementary Medicine

Mr. Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that student doctors and nurses familiarise themselves with complementary medicine. [29434]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 22 January 2002]: It is not for the Department to determine the content of education and training for health professionals.

Individual medical schools determine their own undergraduate medical curriculum in the light of recommendations from the General Medical Council's Education Committee, which has the statutory responsibility to determine the extent of knowledge and skill required for the granting of primary medical qualifications in the United Kingdom. The Education Committee's recommendations on undergraduate medical education are currently under review.

For nursing, midwifery and health visiting, the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting determines the standard, kind and content of education leading to registration.

The Foundation for Integrated Medicine, with which the Department works closely, held a symposium on familiarisation in complementary and alternative medicine for medical undergraduates on 23 November 2001. This was aimed at curriculum co-ordinators and teachers of CAM in all medical schools and was well attended.

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Learning Disabilities

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health.

Jacqui Smith: Our strategy for improving services for people with learning disability is set out in the White Paper, "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century", published in March 2001. It is the first White Paper on the subject for 30 years and takes a cradle to grave, cross-Government look at services. It is based on four key principles—rights, independence, choice, and inclusion. The proposals in "Valuing People" are for all children, young people, adults and older people with learning disabilities, and their families. They cover people with severe and profound learning disabilities through to people with mild or moderate learning disabilities and people with learning disabilities from across the autistic spectrum.

Learning disability partnership boards in each local authority area are responsible for overseeing implementation of the "Valuing People" proposals at local level. Boards consist of representatives of a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector interests, including social services, health, education, employment, and housing, as well as people with learning disabilities and carers. We will be looking to boards to ensure that the strategies they develop adequately reflect the needs of all learning disabled adults in their area. We will be looking closely at the joint investment plan boards have to produce by the end of this month to ensure that this happens.

Action to implement the proposals in "Valuing People" for improving the lives of children and young people with learning disabilities is being taken forward through the Quality Protects programme. Disabled children are now a priority area in this programme to transform children's social services. From 2001–02 to 2003–04 £60 million has been earmarked for services for disabled children and their families—£15 million this year and 2002–03 and £30 million in 2003–04.

We are also improving support for profound and multiple learning disabled children as part of other programmes to improve service for all disabled children:

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Mencap contributed to the development of "Valuing People" through membership of two of the working groups which took forward the early work. It continues to be involved in the implementation of some of its proposals and its chief executive is a member of the Learning Disability Task Force which has been set up to oversee implementation at national level. Ministers and departmental officials regularly meet representatives of Mencap and discuss aspects of "Valuing People"; I hope to meet Mencap representatives again on 5 March.

Patient Journey Times

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people live more than half an hour's journey from (a) a malignant haematology and bone marrow transplant, (b) a chemotherapy out-patient, (c) a specialist endocrinology, (d) a neurology, (e) a renal, (f) a plastic surgery, (g) a genetics, (h) a paediatric cardiology and (i) a paediatric surgery unit (i) in each health authority (ii) in England and (iii) on the Isle of Wight; and what proportion these figures are of the population of each. [29664]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not available as information collected by the Department identifies the national health service trust concerned but not the exact site or unit locations at which different specific services are provided.

Funeral Arrangements

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the number of NHS patients buried by NHS trusts in unmarked graves; [27353]

Mr. Hutton: This information is not collected centrally by the Department.


Asylum Appeals

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the average delay between hearing an asylum appeal and the appellant receiving a determination was in the last quarter for which figures are available. [28903]

Ms Rosie Winterton: For asylum appeals heard between 1 October 2001 and 31 December 2001, the average time taken from hearing an asylum appeal to promulgation of the appeal is:

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Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many appeal determinations have been passed on to the Home Office to deliver since 7 January. [28901]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Between 7 January and 21 January the IAA have passed the Home Office 494 determinations for delivery.

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many appeals against refusal of asylum were completed between 1 April and 30 November 2001. [28902]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Between 1 April and 30 November 2001, 29,455 asylum appeals were completed at the Adjudicator stage; 9,435 leave to appeal to the Immigration Appellate Tribunal applications were dealt with; and 2,362 substantive hearings took place at the Tribunal.

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what proportion of people have unsuccessfully appealed against refusal of asylum then sought to appeal against that decision in the last quarter for which figures are available. [28904]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Of asylum appeals received between 1 April 2001 and 30 June 2001, where the Adjudicator has made a decision: 80 per cent. were unsuccessful in their appeal against refusal of asylum. Of the 80 per cent. that were unsuccessful at Adjudicator appeal, 38 per cent. went on to appeal to the IAT.

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