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7 Jan 2003 : Column 194Wcontinued
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the increase in land values in Epsom does not prevent the sale of land at Horton Hospital to Rosebery Housing Association and other bodies which are subject to Housing Corporation rules and formulae on the acquisition of land by such associations. 
Ms Blears: In accordance with the planning consent, land at Horton allocated for affordable housing is to be sold to housing associations at 40 per cent. of the open market value, representing a significant discount, and a reduced receipt for reinvestment in the national health service. The Department will comply with this requirement, but has no involvement in the housing association's funding arrangements.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will reimburse (a) in full and (b) in part the costs to the hospice movement of the impact of the increase in contributions to the NHS superannuation scheme; 
Ms Blears: Technical changes to the way the national health service pension scheme is funded were included in my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor's pre-Budget report on 27 November 2002. In future, employer contributions will include the cost of indexing scheme benefits but the arrangements will be phased in, with employers charged directly from April 2004.
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The extra employer costs will be offset by additional health service funding. A departmental working group has been set up to develop detailed implementation plans and the position of hospices and other voluntary sector employers, who contribute to the scheme, will be fully considered.
Mr. Lammy: Data on the number of National Health Service complaints made each year is set out in the Department of Health publication XHandling complaints: monitoring the NHS complaints procedures." Due to the diverse range of issues for which complaints may be made under the NHS complaints procedures it is not possible to provide the information requested.
Ms Blears: There are no centrally held statistics on the number of deaths caused by hospital acquired infections. The recent paper on deaths associated with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) was a research study and not a routine publication.
The Department does publish data on MRSA bacteraemia for acute National Health Service hospital trusts in England. Results for the first year of this scheme, from April 2001 to March 2002, were published in the Communicable Disease Report Weekly of 20 June 2002 and are available on the Public Health Laboratory Service website at www.phls.co.uk/publications/cdr/PDFfiles/2002/cdr2502.pdf
Mr. Doug Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been required to pay cash to the health authority where a legal case for damages against a health authority has been lost or withdrawn, and which health authorities have been involved, in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Lammy: Information on the amount of any money received by health authorities from people required to pay in lost or withdrawn cases of damages is not collected at the required level of detail by the Department.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's answer to honourable Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme of 7 November, what mechanisms his Department uses to review the (a) effectiveness and efficiency of social
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service departments, (b) the adequacy of resource allocation to social service departments and (c) the meeting of local needs by social services, with special reference to community care for the elderly; and what statistics on (i) average assessment times and (ii) waiting lists for home aids and adaptations he collates in England. 
(b) It is the responsibility of each individual council to decide what resources to allocate to social services. Most of local government resources are not earmarked by central government. The exception is ring-fenced grants, which have to be spent in accordance with grant conditions; this is a relatively small proportion and will decrease further in future years.
(c) As in the answer to (a), the SSI assess the performance of councils, and this includes an assessment of community care services for older people.
(ii) Information is not centrally collected on waiting lists for home aids and adaptations.
Table excludes children being looked after under any agreed series of short term placements.
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Jacqui Smith: Figures identifying the numbers of looked after children who have been looked after for at least a year and have been cautioned or convicted in the year have only been collected since the year 2000. The figures are shown in the table.
|Number of children looked after for at least 12 months, aged 10 or older at 30 September||25,700||27,000|
|Number cautioned or convicted during the year||2,800||2,800|
Jacqui Smith: Lord Laming has handed his report into the death of Victoria Climbié to my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister for Children and Young People, on 6 January. The report will be published shortly.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he has taken with the Medical Devices Agency to improve public confidence in the effectiveness and reliability of self-testing diagnostic medical devices. 
Mr. Lammy: The United Kingdom was one of a small number of European Community member states that transposed the in vitro diagnostic (IVD) directive into national law by the required deadline (June 2000). All IVD manufacturers placing products on the European market will be required to meet this legislation by December 2003.
Public confidence in the reliability and effectiveness of self-testing diagnostic medical devices will be improved when the IVD regulations come fully into force, and evidence is provided by the manufacturers that the results provided are accurate and meaningful.
In order to learn about concerns that the public might have with medical devices, the Medical Devices Agency introduced, in September 2001, Xon-line" reporting for members of the public for all medical devices, including in vitro diagnostic medical devices.
In addition, the Department has published two voluntary codes of practice and guidance for genetic tests being sold directly to the public. These set out broad requirements in areas such as peer-reviewed evidence of value, accreditation and quality assurance in testing laboratories, consent, confidentiality, sample and information storage, and customer information.
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