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23 Nov 2005 : Column 2112W—continued

Learning Disability

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether an individual with an IQ of 70 or above meets the definition of learning disability used in Valuing People if they also have a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn new skills, and a reduced ability to cope independently, which started before adulthood and has a lasting effect on their development. [28037]

Mr. Byrne: Considering intelligence quotient (IQ) alone is not sufficient to determine whether someone meets the definition of learning disability. An IQ slightly above 70, if associated with impaired social functioning may mean that services view someone as having a learning disability.

However, an IQ substantially above 70, even if associated with impaired social functioning, would mean that someone would not be considered to have a
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learning disability. Valuing People covers adults with autism who also have learning disabilities. It is for local service providers to assess the individual's need, look at the balance between the determining factors and decide on the appropriate services to meet those needs.

Medical Staff (Hertfordshire)

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many accident and emergency (a) consultants, (b) middle grade doctors, (c) junior doctors and (d) nursing staff were employed by the West Hertfordshire NHS trust at 31 March (i) 2002, (ii) 2003, (iii) 2004 and (iv) 2005; and if she will make a statement. [26829]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The following table shows the number of hospital, public health medicine and community health services, medical staff employed by West Hertfordshire hospital national health service trust within the accident and emergency (A and E) medicine specialty by grade and year. It is not possible to identify A and E nurses separately.
Hospital, public health medicine and community health services (HCHS) medical staff employed by West Hertfordshire hospitals NHS trust within the A and E medicine specialty by grade and year(41)

Number (headcount)
All staff262933(43)
Of which:
Non-consultant career grade staff442(43)
Doctors in training and equivalents(44)151826(43)
Other staff121(43)

(41) All data as at 30 September each year, except for 2005 where data as at 30 June.
(42) Data for June 2005 is taken from the Medical and Dental Workforce Mini Census which collected consultants only.
(43) Denotes not available.
(44) Doctors in training and equivalents (previously known as junior doctors) includes the registrar group, senior house officer, house officer and other staff working at equivalent grades that are not in an educationally approved post.
NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre medical and dental workforce census.

Mental Health

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was budgeted for (a) talking therapies and (b) drugs for the treatment of mental health patients in the last year for which figures are available. [25354]

Ms Rosie Winterton: None of the latest round of allocations made to primary care trusts (PCTs) for 2003–04 to 2005–06 has been identified for specific purposes. It is for PCTs, in partnership with strategic health authorities and other local stakeholders, to determine how to use the funds allocated to them to meet the health care needs of their populations.

The 2004–05 National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services" reported that in 2004–05 planned investment by adult mental health service providers on psychological therapy services was £141,378,000. The survey did not capture planned
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investment on prescription costs. It is available on the Department's website at:

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many black and ethnic minority mental health services she expects to participate in the race equality impact assessment for the draft Mental Health Bill; [28049]

(2) what community involvement there has been in arranging the community consultation as part of the race equality impact assessment for the draft Mental Health Bill; [28050]

(3) on what date the race equality impact assessment for the draft Mental Health Bill began; [28051]

(4) whether the Department has followed the Commission for Racial Equality guidelines in the race equality impact assessment for the draft Mental Health Bill. [28052]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A formal race equality impact assessment (REIA) on the Mental Health Bill began at the end of 2004. Prior to this, the Bill and the preceding Green Paper received a wide consultation over a period of four years with various parties including black and minority ethnic (BME) stakeholders.

Officials conducted a series of roadshows after the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill in September 2004, at which BME communities and stakeholder groups participated. The pre-legislative scrutiny committee also received substantial written and oral evidence from BME stakeholders.

We have also published our action plan to tackle racial discrimination in mental health services Delivering Race Equality", January 2005, which also covered our response to the David Bennett inquiry. These factors have influenced our decision to re-examine the concerns expressed by BME stakeholders about the Bill, and to our carrying out a formal REIA on the Bill before its introduction, in accordance with current race relations legislation. We have had close regard to the Commission for Racial Equality's (CRE's) guidance in undertaking the REIA, and Officials met with the CRE to discuss our approach.

As an initial part of the process we planned a series of regional meetings with service users and carers from the BME stakeholder community this spring. These events were cancelled when the general election was called. However, we have since established an advisory group chaired by Rabinder Singh, QC, whose report we expect to receive shortly, and which will inform the REIA which is to be published with the Bill.

The advisory group's summer workshop assessed the potential impact of the Bill. We have more recently held regional consultations attended by more than 200 people, mostly BME service users, carers and community groups. These events were organised with the help of race equality leads from the care services improvement partnership, a relatively new and powerful resource. These leads have strong and extensive links
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with the communities they serve, enabling events such as these to be organised quickly. Again, the outcome of these events will feed into the REIA when this is published.

We remain confident that these processes will identify the key concerns that will enable us to respond to the REIA. We are also considering with the BME mental health network what further consultation(s) might be possible before the Bill is introduced. We will continue to engage with BME stakeholders as the Bill progresses through Parliament. We consider that it is particularly important to secure the strong engagement of BME stakeholders in developing the code of practice for the Bill, and the Bill's implementation.
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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwifery assistants have been employed by Southampton University Hospitals Trust in each of the last five years. [29188]

Caroline Flint: This information is not collected centrally by the Department.


Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of MRSA have been identified in hospitals within Cumbria in each year since March 2003, broken down by national health service trust. [29967]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 21 November 2005]: The information requested is shown in the table.
North Cumbria National Health Service TrustMorecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust
April 2003 to March 2004
Number of methicillin resistant Staphylococus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia reports2230
MRSA rate per 1,000 bed days0.090.10
April 2004 to March 2005
Number of MRSA bacteraemia reports2430
MRSA rate per 1000 bed days(45)0.100.10

(45) Per 1,000 bed days data is provisional, as final 2004–05 activity data is not available.
Data is only collected for acute trusts.

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