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Looked-after Children

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 23 April 2002, Official Report, column 240W, on looked-after children, if he will set out the number of children in residential care broken down by (a) health authority and (b) region in each of the last five years. [67253]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected by health authority. The information available by region is shown in the table.

Number of children looked after in residential placements at
31 March 1997

North East595555505540505
North West1,0901,1001,1151,1451,045
Yorkshire and Humberside1,0009701,0051,025940
East Midlands420520540535485
West Midlands800880860950865
South West490530545535555
South East9201,110930985905


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

2. Numbers may not add up to totals due to rounding.

3. Residential placements include secure units, children's homes, hostels, residential schools and placements in other residential settings.


DH statistical return CLA 100


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people underwent psycho-surgery in each of the last five years, broken down by age. [67159]

Jacqui Smith: For the purpose of clarity, we refer to psycho-surgery as neuro-surgery for mental disorder.

While the Department does not collect information on neuro-surgery for mental disorder centrally, the ninth biennial report of the Mental Health Act Commission covering the years 1999–2001, indicates that nine

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applications for neuro-surgery for mental disorder were considered (seven in 1999–2000 and two in 2000–01). All nine operations were eventually certified to go ahead.

In the period covered by the previous biennial report of the Mental Health Act Commission (1997–99), 17 referrals were made to the Commission to consider certifying neuro-surgery for mental disorder. All the cases referred in this reporting period were certified but one patient withdrew consent before the operation took place.

We do not have the breakdown of the Commission's figures by age groups.

Working Minds

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Working Minds employers' tool kits are available. [67953]

Jacqui Smith: An additional 2,000 copies of the Working Minds employers' toolkit were printed in March 2002. Copies are available from 0870 4430930, fax 0870 4430931, e-mail

Psychiatric Readmissions

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of progress in meeting the Public Service Agreement Target of reducing the emergency psychiatric readmission rate. [67959]

Jacqui Smith: The emergency psychiatric readmission rate has been reduced from the baseline of 14.3 per cent. in 1997–98 to 12.7 per cent. at the last quarter of 2001–02.


Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the role of sport in tackling obesity. [67996]

Ms Blears: Increasing participation in sport has a role to play in raising the rates of physical activity. Low rates of physical activity together with an unhealthy diet contribute to increased rates of obesity. Major cross- Government work has been put in place to raise the level of physical activity, and participation in sport. This includes: £581 million from the new opportunities fund for a physical education and sports programme; the national active sports programme and the Department's recently announced £2.5 million programme of community physical activity pilots, which will test out different community approaches to increasing physical activity. All pilots will involve sport action zones.

Community Day Centres

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women-only community day centres and services are in place. [67956]

Ms Blears: The information requested is not available centrally.


Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent in each of the past five years into the causes and treatment of endometriosis. [67942]

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Ms Blears: The main Government agency for medical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC), which is funded via the Department of Trade and Industry. The Department directly funds research into policy and the delivery of effective practice in health and social care, and provides national health service support funding for research commissioned by the research councils and charities in the NHS.

The MRC's expenditure on relevant research was £1.7 million in 1997–98; £1.8 million in 1998–99; £1.8 million in 1999–2000; £1.2 million in 2000–01 and £1.2 million in 2001–02. The Department's expenditure on directly funded relevant research was nil in 1997–98; £55,000 in 1998–99; £85,000 in 1999–2000; £70,000 in 2000–01 and £70,000 in 2001–02.

In addition, the Department provided NHS support funding for research councils and charities' research, details of which can be found on the national research register on

Child and Family Support Service

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people are employed in the Child and Family Support Service. [45486]

Jacqui Smith [pursuant to her reply, 7 May 2002, c. 103W]: I regret that my previous reply was incorrect. It should read:

Information on the whole-time equivalent number of staff employed by councils with social services responsibilities in England in relation to child and family support services at 30 September 2001 is shown in the following table. These figures exclude central and strategic staff and certain other categories of staff who provide more generic services across the range of council responsibilities. No information is available centrally on the numbers of people in the private and voluntary sectors who are providing services to children and families on behalf of councils with social services responsibilities.

Staff employed by councils with social services responsibilities in England on child and family support services (whole-time equivalent)

Type of staffWhole-time equivalent at 30 September 2001
Area Office staff (including social work staff, excluding occupational therapists)21,275
Day Care staff:
Family centres3,715
Nurseries and play groups2,260
Residential Care staff:
Children with learning disabilities2,045
Community homes for children looked after8,685
Specialist needs establishments1,110
Occupational therapists105


Form SSDS001, annual return of staff employed in social services departments made by local authorities to the Department of Health.

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Iodine Tablets

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what preparations have been made to distribute iodine tablets to the population in the event of a nuclear emergency. [67871]

Mr. Hutton: The Government have established detailed plans for responding to major incidents. Cross- departmental contingency plans are in place and regular exercises test responses to a range of different threats, including those from radiation. Arrangements for distribution of potassium iodate tablets to the population are included in these exercises.

Health Professions Council

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has received from professions wishing to be covered by the Health Professions Council; [67979]

Mr. Hutton: It is for the health professions council to consider proposals for the extension of its remit to other professions, and the timing of any such extension would depend on the outcome. I received an approach from the British Psychological Society in March. The Government

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have also agreed with the general dental council that its powers to register professionals complementary to dentistry (such as dental technicians) should be widened.

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