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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. 
|Yorkshire and Humberside||1,000||970||1,005||1,025||940|
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
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 19992001, indicates that nine
8 Jul 2002 : Column 787W
applications for neuro-surgery for mental disorder were considered (seven in 19992000 and two in 200001). All nine operations were eventually certified to go ahead.
In the period covered by the previous biennial report of the Mental Health Act Commission (199799), 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.
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. 
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.
8 Jul 2002 : Column 788W
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 199798; £1.8 million in 199899; £1.8 million in 19992000; £1.2 million in 200001 and £1.2 million in 200102. The Department's expenditure on directly funded relevant research was nil in 199798; £55,000 in 199899; £85,000 in 19992000; £70,000 in 200001 and £70,000 in 200102.
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 www.doh.gov.uk/research/nrr.htm.
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.
|Type of staff||Whole-time equivalent at 30 September 2001|
|Area Office staff (including social work staff, excluding occupational therapists)||21,275|
|Day Care staff:|
|Nurseries and play groups||2,260|
|Residential Care staff:|
|Children with learning disabilities||2,045|
|Community homes for children looked after||8,685|
|Specialist needs establishments||1,110|
Form SSDS001, annual return of staff employed in social services departments made by local authorities to the Department of Health.
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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.
(3) what plans he has to add to the professions covered by the Health Professions Council. 
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
8 Jul 2002 : Column 790W
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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