Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received regarding the prescribing of antipsychotic medicines to patients in intermediate care; and if he will make a statement; 
Jacqui Smith: No representations have been received regarding the prescribing of antipsychotic medicines to patients in intermediate care. In September 1998 we published a report on general practitioner prescribing support with the national prescribing centre. This document provides many examples of good practice including advice and support on prescribing in residential and nursing homes and involving community pharmacists.
Implementation of the national service framework for older people will ensure effective prescribing and administration of medication for older people. To support this, consideration is being given to the inclusion of a clinical guideline on the management of dementia within the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's programme of work. Such a guideline would cover the use of antipsychotic medication in older people.
Ms Blears [holding answer 13 June 2002]: This information is not available centrally. However, many local sure start programmes offer advice and information to parents to promote oral and dental health in young children, and the sure start unit is working closely with the Department on the involvement of sure start programmes in the "Brushing for Life" scheme.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust area were awaiting in-patient treatment in the last two available months; and how many were waiting (a) over 12 months and (b) over 15 months for treatment. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 18 June 2002]: There were 319 in-patients and day cases waiting over 12 months, and no patients waiting over 15 months, at the end of March 2002. At the end of April 2002 there were 269 in-patients and day cases waiting over 12 months, and no patients waiting over 15 months for admission to hospital.
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(a) beds and (b) wards open overnight was in each NHS (i) trust and (ii) region in England in each of the last two years; 
(3) what the average daily number of available beds in wards open 24 hours was in (a) acute, (b) geriatric, (c) mental illness, (d) learning disabilities and (e) maternity specialties in each (i) NHS region and (ii) trust in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hutton: Information on the average daily number of available and occupied beds for each national health service trust and NHS region from 199697 to 200001 is available from the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/hospitalactivity.
Mr. Hutton: As a result of the Government's acceptance of the recommendation in the medical work force standing advisory committee's 1997 report and the commitment made in the NHS Plan, almost 2,150 new medical school places were announced in England between 1999 and 2001 (an increase of 57 per cent.). This is the largest increase in medical school places since the national health service was established.
|Planned intake in England
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment the Government have made of the number of care homes which will be unable financially to meet the requirements of the Care Standards Act 2000, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) local authority and region; 
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(3) what provision the Government have made for people who will be displaced by their care home failing to meet the standards laid down in the Care Standards Act 2000, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) local authority and region; 
(4) what assistance the Government have made available towards the additional resources required by social services departments to meet the shortfall in provision for people who will be displaced by their care homes failing to meet the standards laid down in the Care Standards Act 2000; 
(5) what assessment the Government have made of the numbers of people who will be displaced by the Care Standards Act 2000, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) local authority and region. 
Jacqui Smith: It will be for the National Care Standards Commission to decide in the particular circumstances of each individual home whether the home conforms to the standards necessary to meet the assessed needs of its residents. The standards were extensively consulted on and the Department has no evidence to suggest that large numbers of care homes will be unable to meet them. The Commission will form a more detailed picture of care homes' compliance with the national standards as it completes its first cycle of inspections of providers in England during 200203.
Care home closures may occur for many reasons. It is for local authorities, in their role as commissioners of care, to have contingency plans in place, drawn up in consultation with service providers, to deal with care home closures. Local authorities have a responsibility for making alternative arrangements for anyone that they place in a home which subsequently closes.
We have not allocated resources to social services departments specifically to meet any local short fall in care home provision. However, we are increasing total resources available for social services by an average of 6 per cent. a year in real terms over the next three years (200304 to 200506). These increases follow average annual real terms increases of more than 3 per cent. between 199697 and 200203 including a 3.6 per cent. real terms increase this year (200203). These substantial increases in resources, in particular over the next three years, will enable local authorities to deliver the improvements to social services to which the Government are committed. Additional resources were also included in these budgets to help providers with the costs of meeting key national minimum standards. This means that local authorities have the resources they need to purchase services at realistic prices.
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(4) if the Government will ensure that people with epilepsy receive check-ups every six months with their GP or epilepsy specialist to review their medication; 
(5) what the Government's policy is on the recommendation by the Chief Medical Officer in his annual report that it should put together an action plan for treatment of epilepsy within three months; 
(6) whether the Government seeks to ensure that (a) epilepsy related deaths are centrally recorded and (b) coroners are made aware of this; 
(3) what steps are being taken to improve care for those with epilepsy; 
(4) what steps are being taken to reduce the number of people who die each year as a result of epilepsy. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department has recently welcomed the publication of the Government funded national sentinel audit of epilepsy-related death. The audit looked at investigations into epilepsy deaths, care provided prior to death and contact with bereaved families. The Department has given a commitment to consider the recommendations of the audit and develop an action plan by September 2002 to try to improve epilepsy services and reduce the number of preventable deaths from epilepsy.
Asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to develop a clinical guideline (due in summer 2004) for the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy to help address widespread variations in clinical practice and contribute to the improvement of services. This will be supported by a technology appraisal (due autumn 2003) of the clinical and cost effectiveness of new anti-epileptic drugs in children and adults, to help promote appropriate uptake and equitable access.
Announced that the national service framework (NSF) for long term conditions is expected to develop standards of care for specific neurological conditions, including epilepsy. The NSF is expected to be published in 2004. Implementation is expected to start from 2005.
Developed the expert patients programme, which aims to provide training in self-management skills for people with long term chronic conditions. The first pilot phase will include people with epilepsy.
Provided funding to the national society for epilepsy for its living well project. The project aims to promote independent living by providing locally based short-term courses for people with epilepsy to develop self-help and self-management techniques.
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