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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government are doing to ensure that councils' policy on charging for domiciliary community care is in line with the national guidance by (a) 1 October 2002 and (b) 1 April 2003. 
Jacqui Smith: Monitoring of the implementation of this policy is being carried out by the Department's social services inspectorate, as part of a wider in-year monitoring programme. Councils have been asked to indicate the stage of preparation reached at 31 May 2002, in implementing the policy. Results are currently being processed. We propose to repeat the monitoring in autumn 2002 and spring of 2003.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to ensure that local authorities consult users of domiciliary community care services when deciding on their charging policy. 
Jacqui Smith: The guidance "Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential Social Services", issued in November 2001, requires councils to consult users and carers when deciding their charging policy. The guidance is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and is legally binding.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2002, Official Report, column 310W, when the next bilateral ministerial meeting between health and education to discuss child and adolescent mental health is to take place. 
Jacqui Smith: I have no current date to meet ministerial colleagues at the Department for Education and Skills to discuss child and adolescent mental health. Officials in the Department regularly meet with their counterparts at the Department of Education and Skills to discuss this topic. The last time they met was Thursday 27 June.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2002, Official Report, column 310W, whether the training of teachers in mental health issues was discussed at the bi-lateral ministerial meeting; and if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting and work to be taken forward. 
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column 159W, what research the Department has commissioned into CAMHS in primary care; and if he will place the preliminary, emerging and final results in the Library. 
Jacqui Smith: A joint research study into child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in primary care was commissioned from teams at the national primary care research and development centre, University of Manchester, the academic department of child and adolescent psychiatry, Imperial College, London and the department of psychiatry, University of Manchester. Their final report will be available for release shortly and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are for capital development of the Maxilla/Facial, Orthodontic and Restorative Department at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. 
Mr. Lammy: Further work is being undertaken by East and North Hertfordshire National Health Service Trust with respect to capital development of the maxilla/facial, orthodontic and restorative department at the Lister Hospital. This will be presented to a future stakeholder meeting.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he plans to amend the draft Nurses' Agencies Regulations to (a) reduce the level of financial disclosure and (b) reduce the number of appraisals of nurses' overall performance; 
(3) when he expects to lay the Nurses' Agencies Regulations before Parliament; 
(4) what account will be taken of experience in establishing the management ability of the owner or manager of a nurses' agency; 
(5) what plans he has to make amendments to the draft Nurses' Agencies Regulations prior to laying them; 
(6) what requirement as to health and safety audit he intends to impose on nurses' agencies in respect of patients' homes prior to commencement of care; and if he will make a statement as to how this will operate in cases of urgency; 
(7) what plans he has to allow the National Care Standards Commission to have access to the premises of nurses' agencies at night. 
Jacqui Smith: The Nurses Agency Regulations and National Minimum Standards are being finalised in the light of responses to the consultation exercise. We will lay the regulations before Parliament as soon as possible.
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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards there are for the privacy of medical records of the managers and owners of the nurses' agencies produced to the authorities for the purpose of showing fitness to run an agency. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 24 June 2002, Official Report, column 735W, on chiropody, whether the shift in policy focus referred to has led to service reductions; and if he will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: We are not aware that the shift in policy focus from professionally-led guidance to patient-led services has led to service reductions. Shifting the balance of power has placed increasing emphasis on involving frontline staff including chiropodists and podiatrists, and consulting with users and carers to ensure services meet the needs of the local population. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for ensuring the right services are delivered to the right people at the right time.
To assist PCTs meet this increasing demand for national health service chiropody/podiatry services, we are committed to recruiting more allied health professionals (AHPs), which include chiropodists/ podiatrists, through the NHS Plan target of over 6,500 extra AHPs, and as extended and stated in the "Delivery Plan", there will be 30,000 extra therapists and scientists over the September 2001 baseline by 2008.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps have been taken to find substitutes for staff whose illness has caused the closure of the minor injuries unit at Pershore community hospital. 
Mr. Lammy: I am advised that south Worcestershire primary care trust is actively seeking substitute nursing staff with appropriate qualifications and experience in minor injuries from the in-house nursing bank, national and local nursing agencies and an advertising campaign.
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Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff have been affected by illness resulting in the closure of the minor injuries unit at Pershore community hospital; and for how long there has been a shortage of staff resulting in its closure. 
Mr. Lammy: Two staff with clinical expertise in minor injuries went on long-term sick leave at the same time. Following this the minor injuries unit was temporarily closed by South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust on 1 June 2002, on the grounds of clinical safety.
Mr. Lammy: I am advised that, due to staff shortages, the minor injuries unit of Pershore community hospital was closed on 1 June 2002. The unit will reopen when nursing staff with appropriate experience and qualifications in minor injuries are recruited or when the existing staff, currently on long-term sick leave, return. This temporary closure is being reviewed by the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust on a weekly basis.
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