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17 Nov 2005 : Column 1459W—continued

School Nurses

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many school nurses are practising in Hemel Hempstead constituency. [25585]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of school nurses is not collected in the format requested. However, the table shows the number of school nurses in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire strategic health authority area, which includes Hemel Hempstead.
NHS hospital and community health services: qualified nurses in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire strategic health authority area in the school nursing1, 2 area of work as at 30 September 2005

All qualified school nursing85
Qualified school nurses(28)42
School nursing nurses(29)43

(28) Only registered nurses with a specific school nursing qualification are defined as qualified school nurses.
(29) Other qualified nurses who work in the school nursing area of work but do not hold a specific school nursing qualification.
Health and Social Care Information Centre Non-Medical Workforce Census.

Sleep Apnoea

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Government have commissioned on the effects of continuous positive airway pressure equipment for people suffering from sleep apnoea. [26111]

Mr. Byrne: The NHS Executive South East funded a research project in 2000 on the effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure treatment for those suffering from sleep apnoea.

Details can be found on the Department's research findings register at


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the new general medical services contract on the provision of childhood vaccination services. [27550]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 11 November 2005]: Immunisation coverage levels are used to assess uptake in the population and the overall effectiveness of services under general medical services (GMS). Coverage levels at 12 months of age increased slightly in January to March 2005 compared to the previous quarter and are now around 91 per cent. At 24 months uptake levels for all vaccines were between 93 per cent. and 94 per cent. Coverage with measles, mumps and rubella at 24 months has increased by 2.2 per cent. to 83 per cent. for April to June 2005, compared with the previous quarter.

The target payment scheme used in the previous 1990 general practitioner contract is part of the GMS contract. The incentives in the scheme include targets at 70 per cent. and 90 per cent. Based on 2004 strategic health authority data, 93 per cent. of practices achieved
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the higher target payment of 90 per cent., and the remaining 7 per cent., between 70 per cent. and 89 per cent.



Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2005, Official Report, columns 453–54W, whether those referred to as other sources and partners, who will supply an average 15 per cent. of capital funding for an academy, are public or private bodies.

Phil Hope: National Skills Academies will contribute to the competitiveness of our industries and the modernisation of our public services by operating as focused networks providing local delivery, contributing to regional development and addressing national sector skills shortages. There will be a wide range of partners who would benefit directly from the development of a National Skills Academy in their sector, particularly if the Academy is located near their own centre of operations. These will include local employers and training providers and local authorities, and larger employers and regional development agencies who will have regional priorities for skills development.

The source, amount and therefore proportions of capital funding provided by private and public sector partners to supplement the investment from the lead employer sponsors and the Learning and Skills Council, will be agreed as part of Business Plan development and approval. These Business Plans, which are expected in late spring 2006, will vary from sector to sector.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the new skills academies in (a) manufacturing, (b) construction, (c) food and drink and (d) financial services.

Phil Hope: A modern, successful economy with high performing, productive workplaces must have an education and training system delivering top quality learning driven by the needs and ambitions of employers and individuals. National Skills Academies will be a key element of this, helping to transform the quality and status of vocational education and training. Employers are leading the establishment of National Skills Academies and investing their own funds in the development of national centres of excellence for their sector. These centres will work in partnership with the public education sector to deliver high quality and responsive learning to young people and adults.

We recently announced (31 October) the first four sectors that will move forward to the business planning phase of the National Skills Academy programme. The sectors are Construction, Manufacturing, Food and Drink and Financial Services. We expect robust business plans to be developed by April 2006. Once the plans have been agreed with the Learning and Skills Council, more detailed information on each of the proposed National Skills Academies will be available.
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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the funding mechanism is for training organisations providing apprenticeships. [24995]

Phil Hope: The Learning and Skills Council has responsibility for planning and funding work based learning for young people in England up to the age of 24. It has set out its approach to funding Apprenticeships in the document 'Requirements for Funding Work Based Learning for Young People 2005/06', which can be found at The document constitutes an integral part of the LSC's funding agreement, conditions of funding (Grant), conditions of funding (employers) and the financial memorandum with providers.

Bichard Report

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes she proposes for disclosure of details of sexual activity by minors when coming into contact with health professionals in response to the Bichard Report. [28232]

Beverley Hughes: Current Department of Health guidance stresses the importance of confidentiality for under 16s. However, it makes it clear that health professionals must take time to explore whether each individual case may involve coercion or abuse. Where there is cause for concern the case would be referred through local child protection procedures.

The public consultation on Working Together to safeguard children sought views on when and how to share information to protect sexually active young people from harm and abuse, following the recommendations in the Bichard Inquiry Report. The consultation exercise ended on 28 October and we are now considering the responses. We aim to issue the revised version of Working Together in the near future.

Carbon Management Programme

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether her Department will sign up to the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management programme. [23730]

Maria Eagle: The Government estate has been set a target within the Energy White paper to reduce absolute carbon, from fuel and energy use by 12.5 per cent. by 2010–11, relative to 1999–2000.

The Department is not currently signed up to the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management programme. However, we are reviewing how this programme may compliment and fit within our existing and planned activities e.g. ISO14001 certification.

Career Guidance

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) in which areas of England graduates are eligible for free career support; [25089]
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(2) why she has removed the right to free career guidance from anyone who achieves level 2 qualifications from 1 August; and if she will make a statement; [25090]

(3) who is eligible for (a) one and (b) more than one free interview with an adult guidance practitioner. [25091]

Phil Hope: Every adult in England can access a free, integrated information and advice service comprising the national learndirect" telephone and on-line advice service and local nextstep" information and advice services, with no limit on the number of inquiries or advice sessions. Within the universal offer provided by learndirect" and nextstep", priority has been given since August 2004 to those adults who do not have a qualification at level 2, since they are more likely to lack the skills foundation for employability and lifelong learning, and are less likely to get a secure, well paid job. Graduates may additionally receive continued career support from their former institutions or from other higher education institutions in their area, although the decision to offer this service, with or without charge, is a matter for individual institutions.

The White Paper Skills: getting on in business, getting on at work" set out a long-term ambition: that everyone should be able to get help if and when they want it to take stock of where they are in their lives and their careers; to review where they would like to get to; and assess what steps they can take to get there. To help determine how best to achieve this goal we are jointly conducting a review with the Department for Work and Pensions, the DTI, the LSC, Ufi learndirect", Jobcentre Plus, and the Sector Skills Development Agency which will be concluded by the end of 2006. The review will be informed by extending the learndirect" telephone service on a trial basis from January 2006 to provide more intensive personal guidance. Adults throughout England seeking to progress in their careers; wanting to gain the skills for jobs typically requiring a Level 3 qualification; and returning to work from career breaks, will benefit from the new service.

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