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19 Sept 2002 : Column 392W—continued

Learning Disabilities

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress in the implementation of the Learning Disabilities Strategy set out in the White Paper "Valuing People". [72985]

Jacqui Smith: We are continuing to make good progress in delivering the programme of action set out in the White Paper Valuing People: A New strategy for Learning Disability for the 21 Century (March 2001).

I last reported progress to the House on 1 February (column 535). I was pleased to report then on good progress in setting up Learning Disability Partnership Boards, the Learning Disability Task Force, and the Valuing People Support Team, and on the early distribution of guidance. Progress since February includes:

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The Learning Disability Task Force will be reporting to me later in the year on its work in overseeing the Valuing Prople implementation programme. I will also be publishing a separate report on learning disability services later in the year.

Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funding is made available to provide residential care and supported living for people with a learning disability; and if he will make a statement; [66302]

Jacqui Smith: I refer my hon. Friend to the response I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Edmonton (Mr. Love) on 9 July 2002 at columns 889–90W.

Local councils decide the level of funding provided for residential care for people with a learning disability according to need, no specific amounts are made available for this purpose. Gross current expenditure on care for learning disabled people by councils with social services responsibilities in England in 1999–2000 and 2000–01, the latest two years for which this information is available, was

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1999–2000 (£million)2000–01 (£million)
Residential care922.01015.3
Non-residential care605.4631.8


Figures do not include the costs of assessment related work by social services departments, or the costs of commissioning provision from the private and independent sector and other local authorities.

We do not specifically require local authorities to collect numbers of older carers but our "Fair Access to Care Services" guidance issued on 28 May (copies available in the library) sets out that social services departments should monitor the extent to which different groups are referred, which groups receive an assessment and which groups go on to receive services.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he is making to monitor the implementation of the White Paper on learning disabilities "Valuing People" by local learning disability partnership boards. [72986]

Jacqui Smith: We are committed to ensuring the effective delivery of the programme of action set out in the White Paper Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21 Century (March 2001).

Implementation of the strategy is primarily the responsibility of local authorities as set out in the implementation guidance issued in August 2001.

Progress made in the implementation of Valuing People at council level is monitored by the social services inspectorate using the existing performance assessment framework for social services. Through the monitoring element of the framework, councils provide annual summaries of the improvement priorities, targets and strategies. Progress with these improvements is updated during the year and reviewed annually prior to the determination of the councils' overall performance (star) rating.

The Valuing People Support Team is continuing to develop links with local learning disability partnership boards and will also provide information on progress with implementation. A national survey of people with learning disabilities has been commissioned which will describe users' experiences of services and help to identify areas where improvement is needed.

The £2 million learning disability research programme will help to improve the evidence base. Projects being funded include ones designed to assess the effects of the Valuing People programme.

The learning disability task force's annual report, due later this year, will provide an overview of progress by all partners in the implementation programme and advise on any aspects of implementation where particular action might be required.

Personal Social Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the reports of the

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Personal Social Services Research Unit submitted to his Department in (a) December 2001 and (b) February 2002; and what action has been taken in response to the findings and conclusions. [71195]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 22 July 2002]: The research the Department commissioned is being analysed in the Department. The findings, will inform future policy considerations.

Primary Care Trusts

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for funding PCTs that have more GPs than the recommended average per 100,000 people. [72887]

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Mr. Hutton: The framework document for the new general medical services contract proposes the introduction of a formula that links funding to patient numbers, and that a fair shares distribution will be achieved over time. Detailed negotiations on the contract including transitional arrangements are taking place now the framework has been approved in a ballot of general practitioners.

Primary Care (Twickenham)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his latest estimate is of the general practitioner/patient ratio in (a) Twickenham and (b) the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; and if he will make a statement. [72496]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 23 July 2002]: The information available is shown in the table.

NHS Plan GPs 1 and Unrestricted Principals and Equivalents 2 (UPEs) and Patients for Kingston and Richmond Health Authority as at 30 September 2001

HA and PCG/T CodeNHS Plan GPsof which: UPEsPatientsAverage List Size NHS PlanAverage List Size of UPEs
Kingston and Richmond HAQAG197191369,7281,8771,936
Kingston PCT5A59393175,0071,8821,882
Richmond PCG4RM35484490,1801,8792,050
Teddington, Twickenham and Hamptons PCT5A65654104,5411,8671,936


1 NHS Plan GPs includes UPEs, Restricted Principals, Assistants, Salaried Doctors (Para 52 SFA) and PMS Other

2 UPEs includes GMS Unrestricted Principals, PMS Contracted GPs, and PMS Salaried GPs.


Department of Health General and Personal Medical Services Statistics.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funds have been committed to improving access to primary care in Twickenham since 1997; what improvements have taken place; and if he will make a statement. [72495]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 23 July 2002]: As part of the Department's commitment to improving access to primary care nationally, we have increased the primary care trust primary care access fund by £83.5 million to £168 million, with at least £48 million dedicated in 2002–03 to improving access in primary care and implementing advanced access. Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust has received £150,000 from the primary care access fund.

In 1997 the Kingston and Richmond Health Authority used improvement grants to fund schemes that improved physical access to surgeries and improved communications with surgeries.

From 1998 the new primary care organisations within Richmond and Twickenham began to work with local general practitioners (GPs) to explore new ways of working. Teddington, Twickenham and Hamptons successfully bid to participate in the national primary care collaborative focussing on improved coronary heart disease (CHD) care, improving access to primary care and managing capacity. Funding available for this scheme totalled £149,000 over two years. This has allowed primary care teams to scrutinise the demand on their services and look to manage that demand using a variety of methods including telephone triage/consultations by GPs, nurse triage, changing the skill mix by employing health assistants. A further £110,000 was spent on innovative projects that focused on partnership developments, for example, with the voluntary sector, community pharmacy, to improve access by ensuring that patients were seen by the right professional in the right place.

The programme extends from pilot sites and is being extended to the whole of Richmond. Available resources this year are £150,000 and will be spent on further improving access.

The primary care organisations continued to support the improvements of physical access to surgeries by investment in for example, induction loops, tactile signage, and ramps. In 2001–02 at least £220,000 was invested in this area.

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