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15 Mar 2005 : Column 241W—continued

Care Homes

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average length of stay of an elderly person in a care home was in the last period for which figures are available. [220803]

Dr. Ladyman: This information is not collected routinely. However, a study by the personal social services research unit has shown that the estimated average length of stay of older supported residents is around 30 months.

Child Poverty

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to achieve the Government's targets of ending child poverty by 2020, and halving it by 2010; and if he will make a statement. [220883]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 9 March 2005]: The Government sets out the steps that departments across
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Government are taking to achieve the targets of ending child poverty by 2020 and halving it by 2010 in the Child Poverty Review, published alongside the 2004 Spending Review and available at

There is a strong link between poverty and ill health. The Government have set targets to reduce health inequalities and have set out an extensive programme in "Tackling Health Inequalities: A Programme for Action" (2003) and the "Choosing Health" (2004) White Paper.

Cross-border Tracking

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what cross-border tracking of adults on the at risk register takes place between the relevant authorities in England and Wales. [220326]

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Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 4 March 2005]: There is no at risk register for adults. Councils with social services responsibilities who are placing people in services between the relevant authorities in England and Wales, must ensure that all appropriate information about the person, including information relating to risk, is made known to the new authority.

The protection of vulnerable adults scheme lists people who have been banned from working in regulated social care sector. The scheme, which was introduced in July 2004, applies in both England and Wales.

"No Secrets", the guidance to councils on developing and implementing procedures to protect vulnerable
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adults from abuse, encourages councils to adopt adult protection committees to lead on preventing and tackling abuse. We expect councils to have regard to the guidance particularly where vulnerable adults are transferred across boundaries.


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practices in Lancashire are accepting (a) children, (b) pensioners and (c) adult NHS patients, broken down by primary care trust. [222102]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The table shows the number of dental practices in Lancashire which are accepting of new patients.
Primary care trust (PCT)Total practices
in PCT
Registering children aged 0–18 years for NHS treatmentRegistering charge exempt adults for NHS treatmentRegistering charge paying adults for NHS treatment
Blackburn and Darwen25
Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale37
Chorley and South Ribble2741
Hyndburn and Ribble Valley20
Morecambe Bay554
West Lancashire16876

The totals do not differentiate between pensioners and adult patients. However, it does differentiate between charge exempt and charge paying adults.
Source: website on 11 March 2005.


Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of NHS dental care in England; and if he will make a statement. [217228]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are aware that, in some parts of the country, people have difficulty in accessing a national health service dentist. We are undertaking a programme of reforms to make NHS dentistry more attractive to dentists and increase the number of dental training places. As an interim measure, we are committed to recruiting the equivalent of 1,000 dentists by October 2005. Recruitment from countries with a surplus of dentists is already proving helpful. For example, 28 Polish dentists began work in England in January, with a further 41 starting work during March and early April.

Departmental Policies (Tamworth)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Tamworth constituency, the effects on the constituency of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. [221936]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government have put in place a programme of National Health Service investment and reform since 1997 to improve service delivery in all parts of the United Kingdom. There is significant evidence that these policies have yielded considerable benefits for the Tamworth constituency.

For example:

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Drug Treatment (Tamworth)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have received treatment for drug abuse in Tamworth in the last 12 months. [221937]

Dr. Ladyman: The information is not available at constituency level.

1,240 individuals were in contact with structured drug treatment services in Staffordshire during 2003–04.

National Treatment Agency for Drug Abuse.

Private Finance Initiative Contracts

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the private finance initiative contracts which (a) his Department and (b) NHS Estates advertised in 2004, indicating in each case whether the output specification included (a) clauses specifically relating to energy consumption and energy efficiency, (b) a requirement for relevant equipment being purchased to be on the Government's Energy Technology List, (c) a requirement to use whole life costing to assess energy costs for new buildings or major refurbishments and (d) a requirement that new buildings or major refurbishments would be constructed to a specific energy standard; and what standard was specified in each case. [221885]

Mr. Hutton: It is for national health service trusts to advertise their private finance initiative contracts. Neither the Department nor NHS Estates placed any adverts for private finance initiative contracts in 2004.

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