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3 Dec 2002 : Column 769W—continued

Patient Discharge

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce a pilot scheme of the delayed hospital discharge fines from 1 April 2003. [83494]

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Jacqui Smith: The Department has set up a reimbursement implementation team to work alongside its change agents team with a number of health and social care agencies around the country. They will be examining how best any barriers to implementation can

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be overcome. Their work will inform the drafting of detailed regulations and guidance on this.

Premature Babies

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many premature babies have developed chronic diseases in each year since 1997. [83169]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Quality Protects

Mr. Burstow : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what improvements in the outcomes for children and young people Quality Protects has delivered. [82766]

Jacqui Smith: There is real evidence that Quality Protects is beginning to improve children's lives. For example, since the programme began we have seen:

We shall shortly be publishing an overview report of councils' fourth annual management action plans, which set out their progress in and future plans for implementing Quality Protects.

Radiological Protection

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what radiological protection, with specific reference to protective coverings, is required when using new scanners; and whether the cost of protective items is covered by the funds set aside for extra CT and MRI scanners. [84015]

Ms Blears: The following regulations, standards and guidelines are designed to ensure that all aspects of safety, including radiation protection issues, are addressed whenever diagnostic medical equipment is installed in the United Kingdom.

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Consultations regarding the allocation of extra computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scanners are under way with strategic health authorities and local healthcare commissioners. These discussions will ensure that adequate funding is in place to allow the safe installation of all new equipment.


Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial support he is making available to improve vocational rehabilitation services through the national service framework for chronic and neurological disorders. [83854]

Jacqui Smith: The national service framework for long-term conditions (NSF) will focus on neurological conditions and some of the generic issues relevant to a wide range of people with disabilities and long term conditions. We have appointed an external reference group to take forward the detailed development of the NSF and to consider the range of issues it should tackle which could include vocational rehabilitation. We recognise the importance of supporting people with long-term conditions to remain in or return to work wherever possible. We plan to publish the NSF in 2004. Implementation will cover a 10-year period starting in 2005. We will consider the resource and funding implications of implementing the NSF during its development.

The Government are currently testing out which health and employment interventions are most effective in supporting people with illness or disability to stay in work.

Residential and Nursing Homes

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were in residential and nursing homes in (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) at the latest available date. [83537]

Jacqui Smith: Information is not centrally available on the number of residents in residential and nursing homes. The number of places in residential and nursing care homes in England is shown in the table for 1997 and 2001. Data for 2002 are not yet available.

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Number of residential and nursing care home places(30) in England at 31 March, 1997 to 2001

As at 31 MarchResidentialNursing(31)Total

(30) Data include places in dual registered homes.

(31) Nursing home places covers general and mental nursing homes, private hospitals and clinics.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what figures are provided to the Department by the NCSC regarding the average time it takes to open a new (a) residential and (b) nursing home; and if he will make a statement. [83713]

Jacqui Smith: No such figures have been requested or provided.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average levels of fees for residential and nursing home residents were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2001; and what the average is. [83536]

Jacqui Smith: Information regarding the average fee levels charged by care homes is not kept centrally. However, figures by independent health and community care consultants Laing and Buisson indicate the following average weekly fee levels in February 1997, March 2001 and March 2002:

Residential care homesNursing care homes


Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what long-term assessment has been made of the use of the drug Ritalin; and if he will make a statement. [83478]

Jacqui Smith: Ritalin is indicated as a part of a comprehensive treatment programme for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children over six years of age where remedial measures alone prove insufficient. In October 2000, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) published an appraisal of the use of the drug methlphenidate (main brand name Ritalin) in the treatment of childhood ADHD, and issued clinical guidelines for its use, including the need for regular monitoring of children receiving this therapy. NICE recommended long-term follow-up of adverse effects and the potential for misuse of the drug in assessing long-term benefits and health gain into adulthood.

As with all medicines, the safety of methylphenidate is continually monitored by the Medicines Control Agency and the independent advisory body, the Committee on the Safety of Medicines. Comprehensive information on the use of methylphenidate, including possible side effects, contraindications and precautions is contained in the summary of product characteristics produced by the manufacturer and approved by the licensing authority. Review by NICE of its guidance on the use of methylphenidate is scheduled for August 2003.

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Sexual Health and HIV Services

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of primary care trusts have an identified lead for sexual health and HIV services for their area; what proportion have in place arrangements for commissioning such services in consortia with neighbouring PCTs; what proportion have neither; which primary care trusts have yet to name a lead for sexual health and HIV services for their area and have not made provision for commissioning in consortia with neighbouring PCTs; and when the report of the baseline service mapping exercise of sexual health and HIV services will be published. [83555]

Ms Blears: Of the 304 primary care trusts (PCTs), including two designated as care trusts, in England, 273 have notified the Department of a sexual health and HIV lead for their area. We are currently taking action to identify remaining leads. We have not collected information centrally on commissioning arrangements for sexual health services. The local baseline review mapping exercise reports are currently being analysed and a summary report will be published early next year.

We are still awaiting details of sexual health leads from the following PCTs:

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