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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.
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; 
(3) what steps his Department has taken 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. 
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 200106) further guidance on the development of "Better Care, Higher Standards" charters for the two years 200102 and 200203.
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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.
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. 
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.
|Year ending 31 March||Number|
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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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; 
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.
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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. 
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.
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 www.doh.gov.uk/ ncsc/manangementstatement.pdf. On publication the business plan will also be available on the Department's website.
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