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19 Mar 2003 : Column 841W—continued

Care Homes

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards are in place to ensure that residential homes which de-register from the National Care Standards Commission are adequately inspected by an independent body. [100680]

Jacqui Smith: If a home de-registers or is de-registered, the National Care Standards Commission would liaise with appropriate local authorities, such as social services, to ensure that the needs of the service users continued to be met and that any existing risk elements were removed. This could mean arranging for a new provider to take over the premises or helping gradually move the residents to other premises where their safety and well-being could be assured.

If the owners of former care homes subsequently operate as a domiciliary care agency by providing personal care to individuals, who then live in their own homes, the domiciliary care regulations would have to be complied with.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to increase residential care home provision in the London borough of Havering; [99747]

Jacqui Smith: The gross expenditure in Havering on residential services for all client groups is shown in the table.


YearGross expenditure on residential services in the London borough of Havering

Figures prior to 1993–94 are not available.

There have been substantial increases in the level of funding provided for social services in recent years. Between 1996–97 and 2002–03, the overall level of funding for social services has increased by 20 per cent., an average real terms annual increase of around 3 per cent. As announced on 17 April 2002 by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we intend to further increase resources to social services for personal social services by an annual average six per cent, in real terms from 2003–04 to 2005–06.

The London borough of Havering's personal social services standard spending assessment increased by 5.2 per cent., in 2002–03, compared to a national average increase of 4.9 per cent. The total building care capacity grant allocated to the borough in 2002–03 was £1,173,000. Of this total, £596,000 was spent on residential care.

In March 1997, there were 1,150 residential care home places in the London borough of Havering. The latest data for March 2001 show that figure has changed to 1,080 places, a decrease of 0.6 per cent.

I understand that the council has plans to increase the numbers of people placed in residential care by a total of 20 placements in the current financial year.

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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) mothers and (b) babies were harmed in childbirth last year in hospital; and what action he is taking to reduce incidence of harm in childbirth. [100570]

Jacqui Smith: Information relating to harm to mothers and babies in hospital is not collected centrally by the Department. However, data on perinatal mortality, shown in the table, shows a continuing reduction in numbers and rate.

Perinatal deaths (stillbirths plus deaths at ages up to six completed days of life): England and Wales 1992–01

NumberRate per 1,000 total births

(24) For data from 1993, the definition of a stillbirth changed from 28 weeks to 24 weeks gestation.

(25) Provisional


Office of National Statistics

The Government has established the National Patient Safety Agency to improve the safety of National Health Service patient care by promoting an open and fair culture and by introducing a national reporting and learning system for adverse events, including those involving mothers and their babies. The system will be rolled out across the NHS from summer 2003.

The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMD), established in 1952, collects data and analyses data on all maternal deaths in the United Kingdom. This covers deaths of women while pregnant or within 42 days of delivery, miscarriage or termination of pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. The last report covering 1997–1999 was published in December 2001 and is available at

The Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy (CESDI) was established in 1992 with the aim of collecting and analysing data on deaths in late foetal life (involving foetuses at more than 20 weeks' gestation) and infancy (children up to one year) and to use the findings to reduce the risk of such deaths. The report covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own confidential enquiry.

The findings of both CEMD and CESDI are important to both individuals and professional bodies. The messages are wide ranging and applicable to the entire spectrum of health workers, ranging from doctors, midwives, nurses and health visitors to coroners, and at times findings are particularly relevant to parents. All the professions represented on the CEMD & CESDI enquiries are signed up to implement its recommendations.

In addition, the Department's programme of work to reduce harm to mother and baby during childbirth, includes:

Issuing clinical guidelines through the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Guidelines have been published on the use of electronic foetal monitoring, induction of labour and routine use of Anti-D prophylaxis for rhesus negative pregnant women.

Further guidelines are due later this year on antenatal care, including antenatal screening, and the use of caesarean sections. We have also recently commissioned guidelines on intrapartum care (delivery), and post natal care.

Developing a children's national service framework, including maternity services, to set national standards of care for antenatal, intrapartum and post natal services.

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Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 20 November 2002, 2 January, 6 February and 13 March relating to her constituent Mrs. Mary Jaggs of Hoddesdon. [103737]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 18 March 2003]: The issues raised in the hon. Member's correspondence are the responsibility of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. I understand that a reply was sent on 4 December 2002.

Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 20 November 2002, 2 January, 6 February and 1 March relating to her constituent Mrs. Margaret Jewell of Hoddesdon. [103738]

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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 March 2003]: A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 17 March.

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 10 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs.Sally Burns. [103742]

Mr. Milburn: A reply was sent to my right hon. Friend on 17 March.

External Consultants

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the projects with a value in excess of £30,000 carried out by his Department using external consultants in the current financial year. [96697]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 11 February 2003]: Responsibility for procurement within the Department is devolved to individual business units operating within central guidance. Information is not held centrally on a project by project basis but a trawl of the Department, excluding agencies, at local business unit level has identified 10 projects in the current financial year with an expenditure to date on consultants in excess of £30,000:

Eye Tests

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many free eye tests were given to (a) pensioners and (b) other people in (i) York and (ii) England in each year since 1997. [102692]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows the number of National Health Service sight tests paid for in north Yorkshire Health Authority (HA) and England for the years ending 31 March 1998 to 2002.

Information for the years since 1997 is collected at HA level. York falls under north Yorkshire HA.

Data is collected by eligibility group and not age. Hence, the closest match to pensioners is the eligibility group of those aged 60 and over.

Information on the number of people having NHS sight tests is not collected centrally. The number of sight tests can not be equated with the number of people as some groups areadvised to have more than one sight test in a year.

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General Ophthalmic services: number of sight tests paid for by North Yorkshire
HA and England for all patients and patients aged 60 and over for years ending 31 March 1998 to 2002 Thousands

North Yorkshire HA England
Number of sight tests for aged 60 and overTotal number of sight testsNumber of sight tests for aged 60 and overTotal number of sight tests

Note:Eligibility for NHS sight tests was extended to patients aged 60 and over from 1 April 1999.

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