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29 Jun 2005 : Column 1613W—continued

Residential Care

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adults were placed in residential care out of area in each of the last five years; and what proportion of state funded adult placements this represented in each year. [7200]

Mr. Byrne: The number and percentage of residential and nursing care residents funded by councils with social service responsibilities (CSSRs) placed outside their CSSR in England, 2000 to 2004, is shown in the table.
Number and percentage of residential and nursing care residents funded by CSSRs placed outside their CSSR in England, 2000–04—England, as at 31 March
Rounded numbers

Residential care(14)
Nursing care(15)

(14)Includes local authority staffed, voluntary and private care homes and small or unstaffed homes.
(15)General and mental nursing homes only.
(16)As a percentage of all CSSR supported residents.
(17)As a percentage of all CSSR supported residents in residential care.
(18)As a percentage of all CSSR supported residents in nursing care.
Figures may not add up due to rounding.
SRI form.

Rural Services

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will amend the health service's funding formula to take account of costs incurred in delivering health services to sparsely populated rural areas. [7763]

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Mr. Byrne [holding answer 28 June 2005]: The funding formula provides the best available measure of health need in all areas. In calculating health need in rural areas, it takes account of the effects of access, transport and poverty.

The advisory committee on resource allocation (ACRA), which is made up of national health service managers, academics and general practitioners, oversees the weighted capitation formula. ACRA has looked at the issue of rurality on many occasions and has recommended that no further adjustment is needed to reflect rural areas. ACRA will continue to oversee the development of the formula, and look to ensure equity in resource allocation.

Scanner (North Durham)

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress has been made by Alliance Medical in identifying a suitable site for a scanner in North Durham; [7553]

(2) who Alliance Medical has consulted during their search for an appropriate site for a scanner in North Durham. [7554]

Mr. Byrne [holding answers 27 June 2005]: Alliance Medical Ltd. (AML) has been working alongside County Durham and Tees Valley Strategic Health Authority's (SHA) assistant director of performance to establish an appropriate site for the mobile unit. I understand that both AML and the trust radiology department consider the site suitable and that they are awaiting confirmation from the SHA that the Consett site will be commissioned.

Sexual Health

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the capacity of sexual health clinics; and if she will make a statement. [7517]

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Caroline Flint: The Department has commissioned the Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health to undertake a two-year national review of genito urinary medicine (GUM) services, which will help to assess capacity issues and disseminate good practice. This began in autumn 2004 and will cover all GUM clinics. Visits to services are already under way in nine strategic health authorities, and reports are being fed back to the primary care trusts as the review proceeds.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) collects and publishes data on waiting times for GUM services. The HPA have published two reports to date, for May and November 2004, and these are available from their website at

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that the full amount of funding allocated to sexual health reform in the Public Health White Paper is spent on sexual health and HIV services. [7758]

Caroline Flint: Improved sexual health performance management has been introduced to ensure that the new investment of £300 million over three years, provided through the Public Health White Paper, achieves the desired outcomes. In addition to the public service agreement target to reduce the under-18 conception rate by 50 per cent., by 2010 as a part of a broader strategy to improve sexual health, primary care trusts must now include sexual health in their local delivery plans. These plans must include measures to achieve improved genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic waiting times, reduced gonorrhoea rates and improved uptake of Chlamydia screening. In addition, the Department has commissioned the Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health to undertake a national review of GUM services, which is now under way. A national audit of contraceptive services is also in preparation and we are working to strengthen the monitoring role of strategic health authorities. Data collection is being improved, to provide information against which performance can be measured, including the Health Protection Agency's published data on GUM waiting times.


Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures are in place to reduce the incidence of suicide in people aged (a) 50 years or over and (b) 65 years or over. [6397]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The suicide prevention strategy annual report of progress 2004 sets out the actions that are under way to reduce the number of suicides in the general population. Although there are no specific actions under way targeting those 50 years or over, many of the measures in place will help prevent suicides among all age groups.

The our healthier nation target is to reduce the overall death rate from suicide and undetermined injury from a baseline rate of 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 1995–97 to 7.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009–11. The latest available data for the three years 2001–03 show a rate of 8.6 deaths per 100,000 population—a reduction of 6 per cent. from the
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baseline. The latest data in the 50 and over age group show that this rate has fallen from the baseline rate of 10.6 deaths per 100,000 population to 10.1 deaths, a fall of 5 per cent. over the period. For the 65 and over age group the rate has fallen from the baseline rate of 10.1 deaths per 100,000 population to 8.91 deaths, a fall of 11.4 per cent. over the period.


David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Department has spent on taxis in each of the last five years. [6513]

Jane Kennedy: The table shows the amounts the Department spent on its central contract for taxis.
Amount (£000)

Other taxi fares may be claimed through staff expenses, but this information cannot be made available without disproportionate cost.



John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people by Government office region were rejected as potential adopters because they were overweight in (a) 2002, (b) 2003 and (c) 2004. [7879]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Adult Literacy

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the level of adult literacy in each London borough. [7474]

Bill Rammell: The Skills for Life Survey: A national needs and impact survey of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills" (DfES, October 2003) provides the latest estimates of literacy levels across England. The survey assessed the literacy, numeracy and ICT skills of around 8,000 adults aged 16 and above in England.

The findings for the London boroughs are shown in the table. The proportion of adults with literacy skills below level 1 varies from 38 per cent. in Newham to 4 per cent. in the City of London. The assessment levels correspond to the new literacy and numeracy core curriculum and National Standards: Level 1 is broadly equivalent to a lower grade GCSE (grade D-G) and Level 2 to a higher grade GCSE (grade A*-C).

A copy of the survey report is available in the House of Commons Library and on the DfES website:
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Adult Literacy levels across London drawn from the Skills for Life Survey(19)

Total entry level
Level 1 skills
Level 2 skills
LiteracyNumberProportion (%)NumberProportion (%)NumberProportion (%)
Barking and Dagenham19,3401947,6904733,80034
City of London21541,560303,49566
Hammersmith and Fulham7,515643,1003668,44057
Kensington and Chelsea5,620534,9203171,58064
Kingston upon Thames8,940931,3203257,09059
Richmond upon Thames8,990831,2102774,42065
Tower Hamlets24,2401848,3003758,68045
Waltham Forest22,6901666,5104655,92039

(19)Source: DfES, 2003

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