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27 Nov 2002 : Column 346W—continued

Business Plan

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, in which document he publishes his Department's business plan targets; and if he will make a statement. [80641]

Mr. Lammy: The priorities and targets for the next three years for the National Health Service and social services are set out in a document entitled XImprovement, Expansion and Reform: The Next 3 Years Priorities and Planning Framework 2003–2006". This document can be found on the Department's website.

Work is also currently under way on the development of a business plan for the Department for the three-year period 2003–06; to ensure delivery of the targets contained in the Department's public service agreement. At the end of the process a Departmental business plan detailing the Department's work programme for the three-year period will be produced.

Care Home Staff

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to lay before the House the Statutory Instrument to extend the time limit for staff who were employed in care homes immediately before 1 April for obtaining checks from the CRB. [82966]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 25 November 2002]: A Statutory Instrument will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible.

Child Pornography

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on increasing resources for child protection in connection with child pornography material seized by police. [83177]

Jacqui Smith: Between 1996–97 and 2002–03, the Government increased social services funding by more than 20 per cent, in real terms, and will make further annual average real terms increases available of 6 per cent, between 2003–4 and 2005–6. The Government is spending £11 billion on personal social services this year, 2002–03. It is, however, up to local authorities with social services responsibilities, in the light of their assessments of children's needs within their area, to decide how to allocate this money.

Children (National Service Framework)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the National Service Framework for children to be published. [83174]

Jacqui Smith: It is intended that the children's national service framework (NSF) will be publishing the hospital standards, as announced in response to the

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Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry. We will also be publishing a second document signposting the likely areas for inclusion in the final NSF to assist with local National Health Service planning.

Children in Care (Crime)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likelihood of children in care being convicted and sent to prison as young adults. [82749]

Jacqui Smith: Our latest data show that 10.4 per cent, of children between 10 and 17, who have been in the care of the local authority for a year or more, have received a reprimand, final warning or conviction. This represents a rate that is three times greater than for all children. Hence, the Department has a public service agreement target to narrow the gap in offending between the looked after children and their peers.

The achievement of this target is underpinned by the Quality Protects programme, which has been supported by a grant of £885 million over five years from 1999 to 2004. This major programme seeks to ensure that looked after children gain the maximum life chance benefits from educational opportunities, health care and social care and thus have the same opportunities as their peers to lead fulfilling lives.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Phil Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress is being made into the biomedical research on chronic fatigue syndrome and ME; and when NICE will provide guidance on management and treatment for patients with ME; [80421]

Jacqui Smith: The independent group, set up by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to develop a broad strategy for advancing biomedical and health services research on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), hope to complete their recommendations in time for submission to the MRC in March 2003. But the group has recognised that this is a tight timetable, and has agreed not to compromise the integrity and quality of their report to meet the timeframe proposed, reserving the right to extend the timescale if necessary.

The Department endorses the view of the CFS/ME independent working group report that there should be no doubt this is a chronic illness and that health and social care professionals should recognise it as such.

We are still considering whether to ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to provide guidance on management and treatment for patients with CFS/ME. In the meantime we have, through both the chief executive's bulletin and the GP Bulletin, made the National Health Service aware of the action for CFS/ME publication XGuidance on the management of CFS/ME". This is a useful summary of the issues.

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Delayed Discharges

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many delayed discharges there were in (a) the first six months of 2002 and (b) 2001 at Southend General Hospital. [83586]

Mr. Lammy: Information on delayed discharges is collected centrally and is placed in the Library but not at trust level.

The data relate to the number and rate of people in acute hospital beds with delayed discharge at a fixed point in time.

Before 1 April 2002 data were collected at the old health authority level. Health authorities were disbanded on 1 April 2002 and replaced with primary care trusts. Health authority level data up to and including Quarter 4 2001–02, March 2002, is available.

For Quarter 1 2002–03, up until the end of June 2002, primary care trust level data are available.

Dementia (Care Homes)

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for funding the mental nursing needs of people suffering from dementia in care homes. [82483]

Jacqui Smith: National health service funded nursing care applies equally to care home residents, regardless of the condition they have. The important issue is the level of input into their care from a registered nurse. This applies to mental health needs as well as to the physical needs of the resident.

Departmental Grants

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the grants funded by his Department for which individual members of the public and organisations may apply; and if he will make a statement as to (a) the total of such funding in the last financial year, (b) the total number of awards and (c) their administrative costs. [82199]

Mr. Lammy: The Department makes grants to individuals and organisations but the information requested is not held centrally.

The administration of grants is carried out by a number of different units within the Department, to which a range of staff make a contribution. It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of these costs.

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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he will publish the diabetes National Service Framework implementation plan; and if he will make a statement; [83338]

Mr. Lammy: We shall be publishing the delivery strategy for the diabetes national service framework in the next few weeks. A national target for diabetic retinopathy screening is in the planning and priorities framework, XImprovement, Expansion and Reform", which sets the priorities for the national health service for the next three years. The target requires that 80 per cent. of people with diabetes will be offered screening for the early detection, and treatment if needed, of diabetic retinopathy by 2006, rising to 100 per cent. coverage of those at risk of retinopathy by the end of 2007.

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Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to make insulin pump therapy more widely available for the treatment of diabetes in children. [83464]

Mr. Lammy: Insulin pump therapy is not suitable for every person who requires insulin to control their diabetes. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has been asked to provide an appraisal of the clinical and cost effectiveness of insulin pump therapy. This is expected to be published in February 2003.

Eye Specialists

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which health authorities do not offer patients an appointment to see an eye specialist within one month. [83188]

Mr. Hutton: Figures are not available to assertain which health authorities do not offer patients an appointment to see an eye specialist within one month.

The table shows the effective length of wait from receipt of a general practitioner (GP) written referral request to first outpatient attendance in weeks for the specialty ophthalmology, quarter two 2002–03, by Strategic Health Authority.

Strategic Health AuthorityEffective length of wait from receipt of GP written referral request to first outpatient attendance (weeks) ophthalmology, quarter 2 2002 to 2003 Proportion of first outpatient attendances seen within four weeks
0 to 44 to 1313 to 1717 to 2121 to 26over 26
Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire2,9263,7441,266663105733.6
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire1,2781,70873055528010827.4
Birmingham and the Black Country2,0854,5771,6968202715421.9
Cheshire and Merseyside3,6693,7981,5479295619934.6
County Durham and Tees Valley4601,5373842401665516.2
Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire7581,8428397387895015.1
Cumbria and Lancashire2,2802,7579567035342331.4
Greater Manchester2,8124,2981,3221,0158796427.1
Hampshire and Isle of Wight1,1142,934939480304219.3
Kent and Medway 9781,7797876251,115018.5
Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland7281,4927456506605516.8
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire3,2473,5811,1818375626834.3
North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire1,4692,0345755063562729.6
North Central London2,1086,6085314483607620.8
North East London7351,156484463130724.7
North West London1,2792,03625927543032.9
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear9903,839644224103917.0
Shropshire and Staffordshire1,5541,53152346586119030.3
Somerset and Dorset8711,9498736181645219.2
South East London9502,47080065558918416.8
South West London9662,185383171143425.1
South West Peninsula1,4472,6155267207842323.7
South Yorkshire2,1192,78567025267136.0
Surrey and Sussex2,3074,0371,5931,055794023.6
Thames Valley9062,6909579882865315.4
West Yorkshire1,7742,8689538573945425.7

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