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27 Nov 2002 : Column 351W—continued

Foreign Nurse Recruitment

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what means exist for overseas nurses recruited by agencies to report the failure of their agency to comply with the ethical foreign nurse recruitment policy. [82964]

Mr. Hutton: Overseas nurses are able to contact the international nurses advice line for further advice and also to report their agency if they feel that the agency is not complying to the ethical recruitment policy.

The nurses are also able to contact Work Permits UK and the Department of Trade and Industry depending on the nature of their complaint.

Nurses who are members of unions may also seek advice from these bodies.

Home Care Charges

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to monitor changes in home care charges. [82810]

Jacqui Smith: Monitoring of the implementation of this policy is being carried out by the Department's social services inspectorate as part of a wider in-year monitoring programme. Councils were asked to indicate the stage of preparation reached at 31 May 2002 in implementing the policy. This exercise was repeated in Autumn 2002 and the results are currently being processed and should be available at the end of December 2002. The process will be repeated again in Spring 2003.

Long-term Care

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will change his policy on free provision of long-term nursing personal care. [82264]

Jacqui Smith: The Government introduced national health service funded nursing care in care homes on 1 October 2001. We do not intend to make personal care free.

In England, in our response to the Royal Commission in the NHS plan, we stressed that personal care for everyone would be costly, and would not be guaranteed to lead to service improvements. Instead, we will invest £1 billion in social care services for older people by 2006. This will improve access to social care services, expand the capacity of these services and increase the choice of services available to older people, stabilise the care home market, and ensure that delayed discharge is reduced to a minimum.

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Macular Degeneration

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NICE has made a final decision on the suitability of PDT for the treatment of macular disease. [82597]

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when NICE will issue final guidance on the use of photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration; and if he will make a statement. [82744]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 25 November 2002]: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) appraisal of photodynamic therapy has been extended to allow further consideration of the draft guidance. We expect that guidance could be available to the national health service in January 2003, providing there are no appeals.

In the meantime, guidance issued in August 1999 to all NHS bodies asked them to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the technology first became available. These arrangements should involve an assessment of all the relevant factors including the available evidence on effect. The local introduction of photodynamic therapy under these arrangements should be funded locally.

Meals on Wheels

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Leeds West were in receipt of meals on wheels in each of the last five years. [83483]

Jacqui Smith: In 2000–01 a reported 5,450 clients in Leeds metropolitan district received meals in their home as part of community-based services provided or commissioned by the council with social service responsibilities based on the referrals, assessments and packages of care return. Comparable data prior to 2000–01 is not readily available.

Data for 2001–02 are not yet available.

Mental Health

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many young remand prisoners have mental health problems; and what steps he is taking to assist them. [82750]

Jacqui Smith: A survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics in 1997 estimated that 95 per cent. of all young offenders in prison had some form of mental disorder. In 2000, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 96 prisoners—both remand and sentenced—between the ages of 17 and 20 were transferred to hospital on mental health grounds.

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All prisons holding juveniles or young offenders are involved in work to implement the improvements set out in Changing the Outlook, a Strategy for Developing and Modernising Mental Health Services in Prisons, published in December 2001. In addition, those prisons holding persons judged to have the greatest mental health needs will be part of the prison mental health in-reach project by March 2004.

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish a mental health bill; and if he will make a statement. [83806]

Jacqui Smith: A draft Mental Health Bill and consultation document was published on 25 June 2002. The consultation exercise closed on 16 September and

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we are currently considering almost 2,000 replies. We intend to introduce a Bill as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Mental Health (Deaf Children)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) sign language workers, (b) social workers, (c) psychiatrists with sign language skills and (d) specialist psychiatrists for deaf children there were in each year since 1997. [82698]

Mr. Hutton: The information requested is not available.

Data collected through the training support programme grant since 1998–99 shows that the following numbers of social care workers have undertaken training to improve their skills when working with deaf and deafblind service users. It is not known whether or not they areworking with deaf children.

1998 to 19991999 to 20002001–20022001 to 2002
Hearing Impairment
New specialist workers133123146195
Other training for specialist workers635538468527
Awareness training for generalist or non-specialist workers4,1453,2945,2135,639
Deaf Blind Impairment
New specialist workers168681130
Other training for specialist workers290143185293
Awareness training for generalist or non-specialist workers1,1661,3301,8112,391

Deaf Children (Mental Health)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what residential care provision is available for deaf children with mental health problems. [82696]

Jacqui Smith: The Department does not hold this data centrally.

NHS Purchasing

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many department civil servants and staff of NHS purchasing offices have been to conferences paid for by pharmaceutical companies in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [80546]

Mr. Lammy: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nursing Student Bursaries

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average value of the nursing student bursary is in terms of pounds per hour. [81684]

Mr. Hutton: Professional registration as a nurse is achieved following successful completion of a course of higher education at either diploma of higher education or degree level. The status of trainees during their course is that of full-time students, not employees and as such they are not contracted for a specific number of hours. Overall, students are required to complete a minimum of 4,600 curricular hours, usually over a period of three years. Over that period the average financial support provided for those studying at diploma level, who make up the majority of the nursing and midwifery student population, is currently around £18,600, the

equivalent of over £4.00 per hour of study.

Overseas Nurses

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses working for the NHS were trained abroad, for each year since 1990. [80713]

Mr. Hutton: The Department does not collect data about the number of nurses working in the National Health Service who were trained abroad. However, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) publishes an annual statistical report which includes information about the number of nurses and midwives on the NMC register, including new registrations from abroad. Data about the number of admissions to the register each year for nurses and midwives who trained in the United Kingdom and European Community/Non EC countries for the period 1989–90 to 2000–02 can be found on the NMC website at

This data shows the success of the Department's policy on international recruitment based on international agreements. Overall nurse numbers in the NHS work force have increased by an estimated 39,500 between September 1997 and March 2002.

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