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Public Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the £420 billion allocated for public expenditure in 2003–04 he estimates will be spent in 2003–04. [52620]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Total public expenditure in 2003–04 is projected to be £454.6 billion (Table C11, Financial Statement and Budget Report 2002, HC592).

Rogues Report

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish up-dated versions of tables 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 of the Rogues report to include figures for 2000–01. [26516]

Mr. Boateng [holding answer 14 January 2002]: Where available, the Government will publish updates on levels of fraud and other relevant statistics on a routine, annual basis in line with the framework set out in the Customs and Excise paper, "Tackling Indirect Tax Fraud", which was published as part of the pre-Budget report package.


Care Standards (Older People)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consultation his Department has undertaken with housing and social services to ensure that the Better Care Higher Standards charter is working, as set out on page 172 of the milestones of the National Service Framework for Older People; and what areas of the charter have been found to have shortcomings; [51526]

Jacqui Smith: The Department commissioned the Nuffield Institute for Health to undertake a full analysis of the first round of local "Better Care, Higher Standards" charters in the summer of 2000. In March 2001, the Department and the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) jointly published (LAC(2001)6/HSC 2001–06) further guidance on the development of "Better Care, Higher Standards" charters for the two years 2001–02 and 2002–03.

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By the end of June each year, local councils are expected to publish a local "Better Care, Higher Standards" charter for the year and an annual report, reviewing progress in meeting previous charter standards and targets, and setting out future plans. Councils and their partners are also expected to carry out annual user and carer surveys, the outcomes of which are expected to feed into the annual reports and to drive up standards of service.

In the light of local charters to be published by the end of June 2002, the Department will carry out a review of the effectiveness of "Better Care, Higher Standards" charters.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many councils have reviewed their eligibility criteria for adult social care to ensure they do not discriminate against age as part of the milestones set out in the National Service Framework for Older People, page 172. [51531]

Jacqui Smith: Guidance on eligibility criteria for adult social care will be issued to councils with social services responsibilities shortly. It will provide a framework so that, within their resources, councils review and revise their eligibility criteria according to individuals' needs and associated risks to independence. Through implementing the guidance, councils will fulfil the first stage requirement of standard one of the national service framework for older people with respect to eliminating age discrimination.

Children in Care

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children up to the age of 16 years were under the care of social services departments in the UK on 1 April. [51645]

Jacqui Smith: The number of children aged under 16, who were looked after by local councils in England at 31 March 2001, was 49,600.

This figure excludes children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.

Information for the number of children looked after in Wales and Scotland is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children up to the age of 16 years have disappeared while living in social services care in each of the last five years. [51644]

Jacqui Smith: The available information is shown in the table.

Estimated number of looked after children aged under 16 whose last placement in their care history is recorded as being absent from agreed placement, by age at start of last placement, for years ending 31 March 1996 to 2000 England

Year ending 31 MarchNumber


Local councils only recorded children as being missing from their agreed placement after they had been missing for a period in excess of seven days.

All figures rounded to nearest five

Above table excludes children looked after under a series of short term placements


DH Annual Statistical returns (CLA Episode system)

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Long Stay Patients Benefit

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people with mental illness in the United Kingdom are in receipt of long stay patients benefit. [51543]

Jacqui Smith: This information is not collected centrally.

North-East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire

Health Authority

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost has been of provisionally locating the strategic health authority HQ for north and east Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire on the York science park; [41372]

Jacqui Smith: The only cost incurred in provisionally locating and establishing the strategic health authority (StHA) HQ for north and east Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire is for the rent of two offices in the York science park for February and March 2002. This will be approximately £3,500. This is the project office for the StHA pending a discussion about its permanent location.

An option appraisal completed prior to the appointment of the chairman and chief executive (designate) has been shared with the Department's regional office and national health service estates. The chairman and chief executive (designate) have asked for a business case to be prepared for consideration by the StHA board at its first meeting. This is being prepared by Capitec. All the existing NHS accommodation is proposed for future use in each locality and will largely accommodate primary care trust staff including shared services to support these organisations.

The communication about the proposed location of the StHA HQ has given rise to significant correspondence from local authorities and MPs on the north and south bank of the Humber. These concerns will be made apparent to the StHA board at its shadow meeting on 20 March.

The creation of the StHA is part of the Government's "Shifting the Balance of Power in the NHS" proposals which are committed to delivering savings of £100 million for reinvestment in services.

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Care Workers (Training)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health authorities have directly funded the training costs for care workers employed by (a) local authorities and (b) independent providers to National Vocational Qualification level II. [45628]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 26 March 2002]: Central national health service budgets for the education and training of healthcare staff do not fund the training costs of employees of local authorities or independent providers.

National Care Standards Commission

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) budget and (b) staff are allocated to media relations in the National Care Standards Commission. [45638]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 26 March 2002]: The budget allocation for the National Care Standards Commission does not specifically identify either funding or the staff allocation for media relations. Decisions on such staff numbers and budget are a matter for the NCSC to decide from their overall budget, consistent with their management statement, financial memorandum and business plan as agreed with the Department. The management statement and financial memorandum can be viewed on the Department's website at ncsc/manangementstatement.pdf. On publication the business plan will also be available on the Department's website.

Primary Care Centres

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many one-stop primary care centres are under construction; [47015]

Mr. Hutton: The latest published information as at 31 December 2001 indicates that 68 One Stop Primary Care Centres are in place following publication of the NHS Plan.

This is expected to rise to 102 by 31 March 2002.

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