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Children's Servies

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the extent of parental responsibility to register children with (a) local GPs and (b) other health professionals. [98342]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 February 2003]: At present patients register with a general practitioner to receive general medical services or with a personal medical services (PMS) pilot provider to receive PMS. In either case the service is provided by a GP or by another health care professional as appropriate. Patients do not, however, register separately with such other health care professionals.

A registration application may be made on behalf of a child by either parent, or in the absence of both parents, the guardian or other adult person who has the care of the child. Registration is not compulsory but the Government encourage everyone to do so for the benefit of the child, the family and the wider community.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of sustainable funding for children's hospices. [102544]

Ms Blears: The funding of hospices is a matter for local discussion and agreement and must be based on local health needs assessment. It is therefore important that hospices engage as much as possible with the health service. The package of care provided should be discussed with the local primary care trust, which is responsible for deciding which health services the local population requires, and ensuring the provision of these services.

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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account the Children's National Services Framework is taking of multi-disciplinary, multi-agency working. [102103]

Jacqui Smith: Developing work from the external working groups working on the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services has emphasised the need for multi-disciplinary multi-agency working. This is likely to be reflected in the final document.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children under six have been removed from (a) GP lists and (b) primary care trusts in each year since 1998; and what the reasons were for the removal; [99182]

Mr. Hutton: A patient may register with a general practitioner to receive general medical services (CMS) or with a personal medical services (PMS) pilot provider to receive PMS. Patients do not register with a primary care trust (PCT) to receive National Health Service treatment unless that PCT is itself a PMS pilot provider.

Registration is not compulsory but the Government encourages everyone to do so for their own benefit and for that of the wider community. No data are, however, held on the number of people who are not registered with a GP or PMS pilot provider. It is not necessary to register with a GP to receive emergency or immediately necessary treatment and GPs are required to provide this to anyone who needs it at the time they need it.

Although the Department collects information on the number of patients removed from lists, data are not collected or held on the ages of the patients concerned nor on the reasons for their removal, other than whether there was an act or threat of violence.


Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warrington, North concerning Mrs. Gwatkin of Warrington dated 29 October 2002. [96405]

Ms Blears [holding answer 7 February 2003]: A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 26 February.

Disabled Children

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the External Working Group on disabled children with special reference to children with palliative care needs; [102542]

Jacqui Smith: The external working group developing national service framework (NSF) standards for the ill child, which includes those with long term conditions, and the external working group on disabled children's services, are by joint working arrangements considering

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the particular needs of children with complex life-limiting conditions and those who require palliative care.

Themes that are emerging so far, and likely to be covered, include the need for greater flexibility in service delivery and for multidisciplinary and multi-agency partnership working.

The "Children's NSF—Emerging Findings" document, to be issued shortly, will give an overview of the areas that are likely to be included in the final NSF.


Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many registered drug addicts there were in the (a) Leeds, West constituency and (b) the city of Leeds in each year since 1995; and if he will make a statement. [96969]

Jacqui Smith: The Information is not available in the form requested.

Following the closure of the Home Office Addicts Index in 1997, the regional drug misuse databases (RDMDs) were the main source of information on people presenting to drug treatment services with a drug problem.

A one off exercise was carried out to estimate the number of drug users in England in contact with drug treatment agencies in 2000–01. Around 2,105 individuals were reported to be in contact with drug treatment agencies in Leeds health authority in 2000–01.

Information on the numbers of users reported as presenting to drug treatment services for treatment in the Leeds HA is given in the table.

Number of users reported as presenting for treatment for drug misuse in Leeds health authority during the six months periods ending 30 September 1996 to 31 March 2001

Six month period endingNumber
September 1996664
March 1997653
September 1997498
March 1998536
September 1998927
March 1999895
September 1999816
March 2000910
September 2000746
March 2001787


The Department of Health series of Statistical Bulletins "Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases". Bulletins for the six months ending March 1998 onwards are available at public health.htm

The number of drug misusers in Leeds HA receiving rehabilitation and other forms of treatment in 2000–01 is shown in the table. In addition, drugs misusers usually resident in Leeds may be attending rehabilitation centres (or other forms of treatment) outside the area.

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Number of drug misusers in treatment in Leeds HA by type of agency, 2000–01

Agency TypeNumber
Community: Specialist services1,713
Community : General Practitioners289
Structured Day programmes219
Resident rehabilitation19


1. In the case of residential rehabilitation, places are often purchased at a residential centre that may be outside the drug misusers area of residence. In practice some local authority social services departments agree to fund long distance placements with the agreement of the drug misuser so he/she can be removed from the area where they are involved in drug using. This means that in theory drug misusers resident in Leeds may be receiving treatment in rehabilitation centres elsewhere in England.

2. Following NHS reorganisation in 2002, Leeds health authority became part of West

Yorkshire Strategic health authority.

3. Data from the Leeds Drug Action Team shows investment and attendance as 201 additional structured day programmes and 19 placements in residential rehabilitation.


Department of Health Statistical Bulletin—"Statistics from the Regional Drug Misuse Databases on drug misusers in treatment in England, 2000/01"

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission research into opioid substitution therapy. [101578]

Ms Blears: The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) is aware that there is well-developed research evidence into the use of opioid substitution therapy— particularly into the effectiveness of oral methadone maintenance treatment. An important part of the NTA role is to support high quality evidence based practice. It is recognised that some findings from the evidence base are not fully implemented and the NTA has built a variety of mechanisms to support the implementation of key research findings into to practice, including briefings, training, commissioning guidance and increasingly performance management systems. The NTA is also working with the Department of Health to develop dissemination of the findings of its current drug treatment research programme. The NTA has recently published a briefing on the advice of its expert group on prescribing, which includes a brief review of the evidence base for opioid treatment.

Copies have been placed in the Library.

The NTA will commission new research in line with the outcome of its current priority setting exercise that is awaiting approval by the NTA Board in March. Research bodies will be invited to submit tenders in line with these priorities.

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