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4 Nov 2002 : Column 132Wcontinued
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health will be able to provide legal advice to patient forums; and whether it will be specifically funded to do so. 
Mr. Lammy: The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health will be able to provide legal advice to patients' forums. This is within the commission's function of providing advice and assistance to patients' forums.
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Mr. Lammy: It is the responsibility of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health to decide where patients' forums in England, and the staff supporting them, should best be located to enable them to discharge their functions. To assist the commission in doing so, a change assessment group is being set up for each strategic health authority (StHA) area. It will comprise stakeholders such as the national health service, community health councils, local Government and local voluntary organisations; and will consider issues such as:
All the information above will help to inform the commission where the most appropriate accommodation will need to be locatedin terms of the NHS, the nature of populations, and in relation to other relevant services. It will also enable the commission to form a clear picture of the nature, type and volume of work that will need to be undertaken by the patients' forums for that area and by the staff supporting them.
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of staff required to be employed in patient forums to replace community health councils; what his estimate is of the annual cost of running patient forums in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The final outcome of the current spending review is not yet known. It is therefore not possible to discuss detailed funding arrangements for patients' forums and the Commission for 200304.
The Commission's chair designate and her interim team, along with the Department, are still considering potential structures for the organisation of and staffing levels for patients' forums. The level of funding available for the Commission and patients' forums will be a key determinant of this, so, as yet, staffing levels have not been finalised.
It should also be noted that staff working in patient advice and liaison services, staff in local authorities supporting overview and scrutiny committees and other staff that will be commissioned by patients' forums to provide independent complaints advocacy support will also undertake some of the functions currently carried out by community health councils.
Mr Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff that are currently employed by English CHCs are likely not to be employed by the new Patient Forums; and what redundancy schemes have been put in place for those staff. 
Mr. Lammy: Recruitment of staff for patients' forums will be through open competition and will be organised by the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. It is therefore not possible, nor would it be appropriate, to predict who will secure positions and who will not.
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Mr. Lammy [holding reply issued on Thursday 31 October]: We do not have information as to which primary care trusts (PCTs) will have distributed copies of the patient prospectus by the end of October. We expect PCTs to have made the necessary arrangements to ensure delivery of the patient prospectus by the end of November. The Department produced guidance on compilation of the prospectus, and this has been available since July. It has also set up a 'Helpline' function, which has since August, been available to provide PCTs with advice about different methods of prospectus delivery. The Department in conjunction with the strategic health authorities, is continuing to oversee progress with general distribution.
The above exercises are scheduled for completion by early in the new year. By taking part in these interface meetings, the Department is seeking to find out how the prospectus was received locally, and to gain feedback upon its utility. It will also use the information to inform plans for next year's prospectus and to consider potential improvements, for example to content, or in the provision of guidance material.
Mr. Lammy [holding reply issued on Thursday 31 October]: The Department does not hold information about primary care trusts' (PCTs) expenditure on the patient prospectus. It is for each PCT to make the appropriate arrangements to facilitate delivery of the prospectus.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed in English CHCs in each of the last three years; and what the projected number is of staff to be employed by the Patients Forum when they commence. 
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The figures requested are therefore not held centrally. There are currently approximately 700 staff in the 184 CHCs in England.
The chair designate of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health CPPIH) and her interim team, along with the Department, are still considering potential structures for the organisation of and staffing levels for patients' forums.
Mr. Lammy: Parallel imports are estimated to represent 15 per cent. overall of sales of medicines to the national health service, although the proportion of sales represented by parallel imports differs widely between different products. Conclusive information on the economic effect of this trade on the British pharmaceutical industry is not available, given the uncertainty surrounding such factors as the profits made on sales to the country which is the source of the imports and other discounts offered by manufacturers in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average length of time was that an individual stayed in (a) residential care and (b) nursing care in England in the last 12 months. 
Jacqui Smith: The personal social services research unit, in research commissioned by the Department, estimated that the average complete length of stay of older publicly funded residents of residential and nursing homes is around 30 months. These data can not be broken down into types of home. This survey was carried out in the winter of 199596.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates his Department has made of the number of people who have had to sell their homes to pay for long-term care (a) over the last 12 months and (b) in each of the last five years. 
Jacqui Smith: This information is not collected centrally. Through the introduction of the 12 weeks property disregard in April 2001 and the deferred payments scheme in October 2001, people have options to help them avoid having to sell their homes on admission to residential care.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residential nursing home beds were available in each social service area in England (a) at the latest available date, (b) in October 2001 and (c) in October 1997. 
Data by health authority at 31 March 2001 have been placed in the Library. These data for 2001 were published in a Statistical Bulletin'Community Care Statistics 2001Residential Personal Social Services for
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Adults, England'. This publication is available on the Department's website at http://www.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0129.htm.
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