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Withheld Records

Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many and what percentage of records eligible for release in 2001 under the 30-year rule were withheld; and for what reasons these were withheld, broken down by category of exemption. [57665]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of records accessioned by the PRO in 2001 but subject to extended closure is estimated at 2,300, about four per cent. of the total.

Of those records subject to extended closure, the percentages falling within the following broad categories of extended closure is as follows:

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Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the President of the Council what formula is used to determine the average cost of answering a parliamentary question. [58777]

Mr. Boateng: I have been asked to reply.

A costing survey conducted in 1991, involving six Government Departments answering a total of approximately 1,600 parliamentary questions, established the average full costs of answering both written and oral parliamentary questions, then £87 and £202 respectively.

Since 1991 the costs have been updated annually by indexation using two separate indices, the retail prices index and the civil service earnings index. The indices are applied 25 per cent. and 75 per cent. respectively to prior year average costs to determine the revised average costs for answering parliamentary questions.

The current average costs of answering parliamentary questions are £129 for a written parliamentary question and £299 for an oral parliamentary question, as announced on 11 April 2002, Official Report, column 582W.


Cancer Plan

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the opportunity costs of the Cancer Plan. [45774]

Yvette Cooper: Cancer is a central priority for the national health service and one in three people in England will develop cancer at some stage in their lives. The NHS Cancer Plan was published in September 2000 and is the first comprehensive national cancer programme.

Improvements to cancer services in line with the implementation of the Cancer Plan will benefit diagnostic, treatment and care services across the NHS and as such will benefit not only cancer patients but also a high proportion of other NHS patients as well.

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the allocation in the NHS Cancer Plan for palliative care has been spent on hospices for (a) children and (b) adults in 2001–02; how much expenditure is planned for 2002–03, and if he will make a statement. [55402]

Yvette Cooper: In the NHS Cancer Plan, we pledged that the national health service contribution to the costs of specialist palliative care for adults (including hospices) would increase. By 2004 the NHS will invest an additional £50 million available for specialist palliative care. This investment is intended to help tackle inequalities in access to specialist palliative care and enable the NHS to increase their contribution to the cost hospices incur in providing agreed level of services. At a local level this investment must be based on the agreed strategic plans for palliative care provision within each cancer network's service delivery plan.

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Funding to support this investment is included within the sums made available for cancer in NHS allocations each year.

Outturn information is not yet available for 2001–02. Palliative care will be included as actual expenditure on palliative care within plans for use of the £76 million of earmarked funding for cancer in 2002–03.

In addition to the extra investment identified in the Cancer Plan, the New Opportunities Fund has recently announced a further £70 million to support palliative care projects, £22 million for adults and £48 million for children.

General Practitioners

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many GP practices do not have a connection with NHSnet. [46998]

Yvette Cooper: As at 22 April 2002 142 practices did not have an NHSnet connection. 75 of these are awaiting installation, the remainder (by agreement with the relevant health authorities) are where it would not be practical or cost-effective to install an NHSnet connection for a short period, for example, because the general practitioner is shortly to retire or working from temporary premises. 8,586 practices (95 per cent.) have an NHSnet line installed.

Vaccination Targets

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what incentive payments are available to general practitioners meeting vaccination targets. [52235]

Yvette Cooper: Under general medical services, the childhood immunisation programme target payment is £2,730 per annum if a general practitioner immunises 90 per cent. of children aged two on his partnership list or £910 per annum if 70 per cent. of children are immunised. The pre-school booster target payments are £810 per annum if 90 per cent. of children aged five on a GP's partnership list are immunised or £270 per annum for 70 per cent. Personal medical services incentive payments for vaccinations and immunisations are negotiated as part of the personal medical service agreement but are broadly similar to those payable to GPs working under general medical service arrangements.

Renal Transplant Services

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the costs of siting renal transplant services at (a) St. George's and (b) St. Helier hospitals. [54278]

Mr. Hutton: Renal transplantation services are currently provided from two sites in south-west London: Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust and St. George's Healthcare NHS Trust. It is proposed that renal services are maintained at both hospital sites and that the transplantation operation and immediate post-operative recovery period is centralised on one site at St. George's hospital. This proposal is currently the subject of a three-month public consultation which concludes on 25 June 2002.

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Resource effectiveness and affordability was one of the 10 criteria as part of the relative benefits of centralising transplantation services at Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust, St. George's Healthcare NHS Trust or Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Trust. The estimated short-term costs for centralising transplantation at either the St. George's or St. Helier sites are outlined in the consultation document as approximately £320,000. The funding for a long-term purpose-built facility on either site would be subject to the development of an outline business case for consideration by the south-west London health authority. Any further development of a business case for an integrated facility at either site will be subject to the outcome of the public consultation on the future of renal transplantation services.


Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what community provision is made for diabetes sufferers in Bradford. [56941]

Jacqui Smith: Bradford primary care trusts invest over £600,000 annually in the provision of community diabetes services. Provision includes:

Staff Numbers

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in the National Care Standards Commission at 1 April; and what proportion of those staff have clinical contact with NHS patients. [56857]

Jacqui Smith: The National Care Standards Commission employed 1,866 staff at 1 April 2002.

The commission employs a range of staff including administrators and inspectors. While the commission's inspectors have qualifications relevant to the work they do in regulating services and establishments, including medical qualifications where appropriate, none of the commission's staff have clinical contact with national health service patients.

Juvenile Sex Abusers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what protocols are in place for child and adolescent mental health services in dealing with children who sexually abuse. [57186]

Jacqui Smith: No national protocols have been set for child and adolescent mental health services. However, paragraphs 6.31 to 6.37 of "Working Together to Safeguard Children" gives guidance for agencies working with children and young people who abuse others. This includes the principle that there should be a co-ordinated

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approach on the part of youth justice, child welfare, education (including educational psychology) and health (including child and adolescent mental health) agencies.

A number of adolescent sexual offenders will have co-existing serious mental health disorders or mental illness. In these circumstances, it is expected that child and adolescent mental health services would assess both the mental health needs of the young person and also the level of risk they pose and provide appropriate treatment for that disorder or illness.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to conduct further research into children and young people who sexually abuse. [57185]

Jacqui Smith: There are no current plans to conduct new research on child sexual abuse. It is often an issue that is picked up and explored as part of other studies about interventions with children in need. Relevant departmental funded studies on children or young people who sexually abuse are in the completed study, "Sexually Abused and Abusing Children in Substitute Care" by Elaine Farmer and the forthcoming study, "A Protective Study on the Onset of Sexually Abusive Behaviour in Boys who were Sexually Abused in Childhood" by Professor Skuse at the Institute of Child Health.

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made by his Department in implementing a multi-agency model to address (a) the risks posed by and (b) the needs of children and young people who abuse. [57320]

Jacqui Smith: "Working Together to Safeguard Children", a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children published in December 1999, sets out how agencies should work together to assess the risks posed by and the needs of children and young people who abuse. It is the responsibility of area child protection committees and their relevant constituent agencies to determine ways of implementing this guidance at local level.

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding was available for programmes to address the needs of children and young people who sexually abuse in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001. [57322]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has funded two voluntary organisations under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act (1968) to carry out work in relation to stopping child sexual abuse by using public health education approaches to increase public awareness of sexual abuse in a way that empowers people to act responsibly and without panic in the interests of effective child protection. The 'Stop It Now!' project is targeting specific groups of adults including adult abusers and the parents of young abusers. The Lucy Faithfull foundation and the national organisation for the treatment of abusers have been granted £55,000 and £37,000 a year for each year from 2001–02 to 2003–04, with additional funding from the Home Office of £50,000 a year for the same three-year period for the Lucy Faithfull foundation.

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