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11 Nov 2004 : Column 869W—continued

Care Assistants

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of care assistants working in the UK who are from (a) the UK, (b) Eastern Europe and (c) the Philippines. [195842]

Dr. Ladyman: The information is not available centrally.

Data collected by the local government employers' organisation showed that, as at 30 September 2001, grossed estimated number of care workers working in residential, dual registered and nursing homes in the independent and voluntary sector was 285,300, and the number of domiciliary care workers was 111,600.

Data collected by the Department in respect to local authority headcount indicates 110,985 staff at 30 September 2003 employed as care staff in day centres, residential establishments and specialist needs establishments and in domiciliary care.

Workforce data collected by both the employers' organisation and the Department includes broad ethnic group broad ethnic groups, but nothing to identify those from Eastern Europe, the Philippines or even the United Kingdom.


Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that guidance is issued on the uniform prescribing of anti-dementia drugs; and if he will make a statement. [196930]

Dr. Ladyman: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced guidance on the use of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and will be producing new guidance on pharmaceutical treatments for non-Alzheimer dementias by May 2005.

NICE is also developing a comprehensive guideline on all aspects of the management of dementia in older people. This guideline is currently planned for release in February 2007. This will bring together and build on the drug appraisals referred to above.

Dental Care

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental suites there will be in the Yarnspinners Wharf Medical Centre in Nelson; and if he will make a statement. [196461]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The dental action plan for the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Primary Care Trust indicates that there will be four dental suites within the Yarnspinners Wharf local investment finance trust
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development in Nelson. This forms part of the new health centre development that will replace the current Nelson Health Centre in 2004–05.

Eye Test Charges

Mr. Keith Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents in Manchester, Withington aged over 60 years have benefited from the abolition of charges for eye tests. [197878]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Data for the number of sight tests by constituency or by the number of senior citizens is not collected centrally.

The total number of national health service sight tests paid for by the Greater Manchester strategic health authority in 2002–03 for patients in the aged 60 and over category was 189,900. The total number eligible for a free sight test for those aged 60 and over was 493,100. Sight tests cannot be equated to the numbers of patients.


Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated costs are of the capital works which would be necessary to fluoridate domestic water supplies in the West Yorkshire strategic health authority area; and what the annual revenue costs are estimated to be. [191140]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The University of York health economic consortium conducted a study in 1998 in "Water Fluoridation—An Economic Perspective". Applying the figures in this study to a population the size of West Yorkshire strategic health authority, the initial capital cost would be around £3 million. Figures from the water industry suggest that recurring revenue costs would be approximately 80 pence per head of population. Research indicates that the fluoridation of water is capable of increasing the number of children without tooth decay by 15 per cent.

Free Fruit

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when (a) Broughton, (b) Stockbridge, (c) Wallop, (d) Wherwell and (e) Barton Stacey schools will have access to the free fruit in school scheme. [196918]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Schools in Broughton, Stockbridge, Wallop, Wherwell and Barton Stacey that have joined the school fruit and vegetable scheme will have received their first delivery of fruit and/or vegetables on either 2 or 3 November. The first consumption date for children in those schools will have been either 3 or 4 November.

Roll out of the school fruit and vegetable scheme is currently being staggered to eligible schools in the four remaining regions, including the South East.

GP Services

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on out-of-hours services for general practitioners in North Yorkshire; [197079]
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(2) if he will make a statement on the extent of the use of locum doctors for out-of-hours general practitioner services in North Yorkshire. [197485]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The four primary care trusts have contracted with North Yorkshire Emergency Doctors for the provision of out-of-hours general practitioner services. North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire Strategic Health Authority estimates that around 20 per cent. of this service is currently provided by locum doctors.

Health and Social Care

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support will be given to an individual to enable them to express their wishes when an assessment of individual capacity is carried out by health and social care professionals. [194807]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 1 November 2004]: The Mental Capacity Bill starts from the assumption that a person has capacity unless it is established that he or she lacks it. It includes an obligation in the principles set out in clause 1 to take "all practicable steps" to help the person make his or her own decision. This will include the provision of communication and other forms of support to make sure that the person is not too readily regarded as lacking capacity and enabling them to express their wishes.

The code of practice will provide detail about the types of communication support, which should be made available when health and social care professionals make an assessment of capacity. This includes taking time to be with someone to explain the decision in a way that the person can understand, the provision of electronic and other technical aids and language experts, where appropriate.

We have issued guidance to local authorities to explain the importance of involving independent advocates when appropriate in assessments of need and the Code of Practice emphasises this as well.

Health Protection Agency

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the administration costs were of the Health Protection Agency in the last year for which figures are available; and how many staff it employed. [196118]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The administration costs for the Health Protection Agency (HPA) for the year ended 31 March 2004 were £7.9 million. These costs were incurred for the key central activities of human resources, finance, audit and corporate affairs.

The HPA employed 2,518 whole-time equivalent (wte) staff during 2003–04. In addition, over the same time period, a further 200 wte staff were employed on agency, secondment or similar arrangements.

Hospital Infections

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in each (a) hospital and (b) trust in England have contracted methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the NHS since 1997. [193456]

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Miss Melanie Johnson: Information by individual named trust is only available from 2001, when we introduced mandatory surveillance for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections. The data is available on the Department's website at

Copies have been placed in the Library.

Information by individual hospital is not available.

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