Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of NHS beds in the north-west of England that are occupied by elderly people who should be in residential care. 
Jacqui Smith: In the north-west region, in September 2001, 259 hospital beds were occupied by patients who were awaiting social services funding or waiting for placements in residential care homes. This is the latest information available. It is based on returns from 15 of the 16 health authorities in the region.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the number of additional nursing staff required to comply with the National Care Standards in the (a) voluntary, (b) local authority and (c) NHS sectors. 
Mr. Milburn: Last November I announced funding of £80 million to provide new angiography equipment at 37 hospitals and new laboratory facilities for angiography at 22 hospitals. This first wave of funding will enable the national health service to carry out an extra 14,000 angiograms each year, and so reduce waiting times.
26 Feb 2002 : Column 1094W
Jacqui Smith: The targets set in the Mental Health National Service Framework (NSF) for April 2001 were all achieved on time. These included 170 assertive outreach teams; almost 500 additional secure beds; over 320 additional 24 hour staffed care beds; access to services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for all those with complex mental health problems; investment to improve the physical environments in psychiatric wards; and guidance has been issued to ensure the safety, privacy and dignity of mental health patients.
15. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the role of assertive outreach teams in reducing admissions to mental hospitals; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: It is not possible to forecast with precision what the impact on hospital admissions will be once assertive outreach services are provided to all those people who need them. Research to date indicates that significant reductions in admissions can be achieved, and further research on the matter has been commissioned.
Jacqui Smith: Mental health services face many challenges in London due to the needs of the population and the complex structure of services. However, good progress is being made in many areas of the implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Mental Health Services in London.
Key achievements arising from the NSF Implementation and the London Mental Health Strategy"A Strategy for Action (2000)" include integration of health and social care and the involvement of users/survivors and carers. A new London group has been established to develop the forensic mental health services plan for London. London's 'Invest to Save' project involving social and health care agencies and the police and probation service is testing information-sharing protocols. Virtuall continues to provide resources to support agencies to deliver better mental health for Londoners and has been nominated for a modernisation award. Pilot projects to develop the leadership role of local authorities in improving mental well-being have been established. Also additional capital of £1.6 million was made available in 200102 to improve acute adult mental health in-patient services.
It is recognised that mental health services need to improve their ability to meet the needs of black and minority ethnic groups. Consultation and capacity building is happening across London to support this.
26 Feb 2002 : Column 1095W
Jacqui Smith: Since 1997 the number of residential beds in London and the south-east has decreased by 5 per cent. from 101,960 to 96,620. In the same period the number of nursing care beds has increased by 5 per cent., from 47,080 to 49,420.
Jacqui Smith: We have already made significant improvements to health and social care services for children. The Quality Protects programme, an £885 million programme running from 19992004, has led to demonstrable improvements to the outcomes of some of the most vulnerable children in our society and children are benefiting from our strategy to invest in and transform the national health service.
But there is much more to do. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced last year the development of a National Service Framework for Children, which will encompass health and social care services for children.
Yvette Cooper: This Government are taking practical measures to narrow health inequalities across all areas of the country. In East London, additional funding and strong local partnerships, are successfully supporting action to tackle the causes of the widespread inequalities in the area.
Mr. Hutton: Consultations regarding criteria for the allocation of 50 additional CT scanners, as outlined in the NHS Cancer Plan, will begin by the end of this month and will involve regions, strategic health authorities and the cancer networks. It is expected that final allocations will be published in the summer.
26 Feb 2002 : Column 1096W
24. Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure closer co-operation between the national health service and social services departments to reduce delayed discharges from hospitals. 
Jacqui Smith: Among private sector care homes there were 407,130 beds in 1997 and 409,800 beds in 2001. Among voluntary sector care homes there were 64,460 beds in 1997 and 67,350 beds in 2001. Among local authority staffed homes there were 65,820 beds in 1997 and 50,860 beds in 2001.
Ms Blears: Oral health promotion features in Government initiatives aimed at reducing deprivation and health inequalities including Sure Start, Health Action Zones and Healthy Living Centres. More specifically, our "Brushing for Life" scheme provides free toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste to families with young children in the 21 health authorities where dental decay is highest.