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NHS Dentistry (Yeovil)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being taken to improve access to NHS dentistry in Yeovil constituency; and if he will make a statement. [63371]

Mr. Lammy: Arrangements are now in place to ensure that everyone who requires national health service dentistry will be directed to available services simply by phoning NHS Direct. Over the last 18 months we allocated over £210,000 to extend and improve existing

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NHS dental facilities in Somerset. In February 2001 the capacity of these services was further increased when a dental access centre was opened in Yeovil.

We are aware of the need for further improvements and during 2001 the chief dental officer led a working group to look at options for change to modernise NHS dentistry. This group has completed its deliberations. The proposals in 'Options for Change' need practical testing and demonstration sites will be set up, working with the NHS Modernisation Agency. We will begin the process of identifying the demonstration sites over the coming months.

MS Patients

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the necessary structures and systems will be operating in Essex, to assess MS patients' eligibility for disease modifying therapies for MS. [63146]

Ms Blears: The five acute trusts in Essex have assessed the arrangements necessary to implement the scheme to assess multiple sclerosis (MS) patients' eligibility for disease modifying therapies for MS.

All trusts highlighted a need for additional specialist nurse support. Applications have been made to the MS Society for access to their specialist nurse fast-track scheme and these applications are currently being processed. Once approved, recruitment will commence as soon as possible. Identification of potentially eligible new patients has taken place and this information has been passed to primary care trusts.

Once the infrastructure is in place within the centres, these patients will be reviewed and if they meet the required Association of British Neurologists criteria, will commence treatment.

Care Homes and Nursing Homes

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many cases each responsible local authority would be expected to deal with under the formula for transferring funding for residents of care homes and nursing homes on preserved rights from the Department of Work and Pensions to local authorities; [63157]

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Jacqui Smith: The national budget for the preserved rights grant was determined principally on the basis of the expected number in mid 2002–03 of residents formerly entitled to preserved rights. The allocation for individual local authorities was calculated in proportion to the distribution of residents with preserved rights as at December 2000. The caseloads of people under 65 and over 65 were considered separately. The data for December 2000 were provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. These data were adjusted by information provided by councils on the numbers of preserved rights residents supported outside their area. These adjusted data are available on the Department of Health's website at http:/

Until March this year, responsibility for the regulation and inspection of independent sector residential care homes and nursing homes lay respectively with local councils and the national health service. Part of this function included checking that homes were able to meet the needs of their residents. On 1 April 2002, this responsibility passed to the National Care Standards Commission, for care homes in England. Until the abolition of preserved rights to higher levels of income support there was no requirement on councils to assess the care needs of residents with preserved rights unless the council was topping up their care home fees.

Children in Care

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the number of children in the care of London boroughs in (a) 1999, (b) 2000 and (c) 2001 were from (i) black and (ii) ethnic minority backgrounds. [64105]

Jacqui Smith: The available information for children looked after in London boroughs at 31 March 2001 is shown in the table. Information for earlier years is not available, as 2001 was the first year information was collected on the ethnic origin of children looked after by local councils in England.

Children looked after in London boroughs, by ethnic origin, as at 31 March 2001

Ethnic origin
London boroughsAll childrenWhiteMixed originBlack or Black BritishOther ethnic groups
Inner London
Hackney 100(25)(25)(25)(25)
Hammersmith and Fulham1003943721
Kensington and Chelsea1003130327
Tower Hamlets10045161524
Outer London
Barking and Dagenham100736516
Kingston upon Thames1008410
Richmond upon Thames1007713
Waltham Forest1004920292

(25) Indicates not available.


1. Figures for children looked after in this table exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.

2. Small percentages, particularly where the number is less than five, together with all data for the City of London, have been suppressed for reasons of confidentiality. All suppressed data in the table are indicated by the symbol "—".

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Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were in the care of (a) London boroughs and (b) local authorities in England and Wales in (i) 1999, (ii) 2000 and (iii) 2001. [64106]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested for London and local councils in England is shown in the table. Information on the number of children looked after by local councils in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.

Children looked after at 31 March 1999 to 2001, England and
London Number



1. Figures for children looked after in this table exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.

2. Figures for London have been rounded to the nearest 100. All figures include estimates for missing data.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of children between the ages of 16 and 18 years living (a) in a residential care home and (b) with foster parents were not in education, employment or training for the last five years for which figures are available. [63113]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 19 June 2002]: The information requested is not collected centrally. A new departmental statistical return (OC3) will collect data from social services departments in England concerning

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the educational or employment status of care leavers on their 19th birthday. The return requires councils to report whether each care leaver, who was looked after on 1 April in their 17th year, is in education, training, employment, or is sick or unemployed. This data will be published for the first time in autumn 2002.

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