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6 Mar 2007 : Column 1936W—continued

Care Homes: Hygiene

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many care homes did not comply with minimum infection control standards in each of the last three years in each region in England. [124662]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 2 March 2007]: I am informed by the Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that the information requested is as shown in the tables.

Performance of care homes against national minimum standards( 1) for hygiene and infection control by region
As at 31 March 2006
Hygiene and infection control standard not met
Region Number Percentage

East Midlands









North East



North West



South East



South West



West Midlands



Yorkshire and Humberside



Total no meeting standard



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As at 31 March 2005
Hygiene and infection control standard not met
Region Number Percentage

East Midlands









North East



North West



South East



South West



West Midlands



Yorkshire and Humberside



Total not meeting standard



As at 31 March 2004
Hygiene and infection control standard not met
Region Number Percentage

East Midlands









North East



North West



South East



South West



West Midlands



Yorkshire and Humberside



Total not meeting standard



Notes: 1. The national minimum standards (NMS) referred to are: Standard 26: NMS—care homes for older people. Standard 30: NMS—care homes for adults aged 18 to 65. 2. The figures and percentages shown are for all care homes.

Where it is considered that standards on infection control have not been met and that a regulation has been breached, CSCI may require the situation to be remedied within a set time. If there is no acceptable response to a warning letter, or if it is considered that there is a serious risk to service users, CSCI may consider issuing a statutory requirement notice. The notice clearly states what legal requirement is unmet, the corrective action which must be taken and stipulates the date—which will be no more than three months hence—by which the requirement must be met.

To ensure requirements are complied with, CSCI has an escalating tariff of enforcement options. These are included in its enforcement guidance, which is published on the CSCI website at:

Children: Health

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to encourage authorities to work with families to ensure children adopt healthy lifestyles from an early age. [124698]

Caroline Flint: The Department, working with the Department for Education and Skills, is committed to supporting families to help children establish healthy lifestyles. Some examples are as follows.

Sure Start children's centres have been established where parents, parents to be and children under five years old can receive services and advice on healthy eating, play and activity. The revised Children's Centre Practice Guidance, issued in November last year, now has a dedicated chapter on obesity, for example.

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The Healthy Schools Programme creates a healthy environment for children by encouraging schools to promote good health across their activities and across the whole school community.

Healthy lifestyles are also integrated within the new Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, which will come into play in 2008 and sets the curriculum and standards for all early years settings.

Families can also access the ‘Your Weight Your Health’ leaflet available on the Department's website, which suggests ways in which people can change their lifestyles by eating more healthily and being physically active.

The Department has also used social marketing techniques to gain a better understanding of the drivers and motivations of families towards healthier lifestyles. This work has influenced a number of new campaigns, the first of which, an initiative to tackle the four key barriers to children eating fruit and vegetables, will be launched in the spring of 2007.

The early years lifecheck (ELC) is a tool, which will support families to identify the help and support that they need to ensure that their child achieves the healthiest outcome possible. It builds upon the emphasis in ‘Choosing Health’ and ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ in enabling people to take responsibility for their own health.

The ELC will support the aims set out in the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services and the Every Child Matters programme, to ensure that there is better and earlier identification of children's needs.

The ELC will help to reduce health inequalities. Initial development and evaluation of the Life Check service is focusing on areas with the worst health and deprivation.

The Healthy Start scheme was implemented across Great Britain in November 2006. The aim of the scheme is to support certain low income families in establishing a healthy diet. It provides vouchers that can be used to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and infant formula milk. The scheme also provides free Healthy Start vitamins for children up to their fourth birthday. All Healthy Start application forms are required to be signed by a health professional. This provides an opportunity for information to be provided to the family on breastfeeding, healthy eating, smoking cessation and other healthy lifestyle issues.

Chlamydia Infection: Screening

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what target has been set for strategic health authorities on Chlamydia screening for 15 to 24-year-olds as part of their local delivery plans; [122666]

(2) what discussions her Department has had with strategic health authorities on the Local Delivery Plan target for Chlamydia screening. [122786]

Caroline Flint: All strategic health authorities (SHAs) have been asked to plan for at least 15 per cent. of the population aged 15-24 accepting a test or screen for Chlamydia, by March 2008.

The Department is currently agreeing local delivery plans for 2007-08 with all SHAs. Chlamydia screening plans are been discussed with each SHA as part of this process.

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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions her Department has had with the National Chlamydia Screening Programme on the budget for phase three of the programme. [122784]

Caroline Flint: The operational management of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) was transferred to the Health Protection Agency in November 2005. Officials meet on a regular basis with the NCSP to discuss a number of issues including funding.

Funding for the implementation of the NCSP is distributed to primary care trusts as part of their main allocation.

Community Hospitals

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2007, Official Report, columns 403-4W, on community hospitals, if she will list the six bids to the capital investment fund for community hospitals which were either withdrawn, refused or have outstanding queries. [123539]

Andy Burnham: The proposal for funding for the Newton Abbott hospital was rejected because it did not meet the criteria for funding. The proposals for a community health centre in Stoke on Trent and Rotherham primary care centre were withdrawn from wave one by the strategic health authorities, although the Rotherham proposal has been resubmitted as part of the second wave. Decisions are still outstanding on the following three schemes—the South Bristol community hospital, the Stamford and Rutland hospital and the Hornsey central hospital.

Community Hospitals: Hospital Beds

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effect of a (a) temporary and (b) permanent closure of 36 beds of a 68 bed community hospital on the level of service delivery by that hospital. [122645]

Caroline Flint: It is the responsibility of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to analyse their local situation and develop plans, in liaison with their local national health service trusts and primary care providers, to deliver high quality NHS services.

Community Nurses: Hertfordshire

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures the Government is taking to enhance the skills and training of community matrons in Hertfordshire; and if she will make a statement. [120015]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for the local national health service to ensure that their staff have adequate skills and training to carry out their jobs.

Across the country, including Hertfordshire, we have published a case management competency framework for the care of people with long-term conditions in 2005 to help employers understand the depth and breadth of the community matron role and higher education institutes to design appropriate training courses. In addition, Sheffield Hallam university was funded to develop a model education programme for community matrons. Results from this programme
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were included in “Caring for people with long term conditions: an education framework for community matrons and case managers,” published in 2006.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department plans to take to extend support offered to carers and relatives of people diagnosed with dementia. [124699]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department recognises that carers and relatives of those with dementia have particular needs and concerns and we know that caring for and living with a person with dementia can be very demanding. Carers tell us that easy access to advice and a sympathetic ear are invaluable. We also know the importance that carers of people with dementia place in the availability of short-term care in times of emergency.

Overall, this Government remain committed to supporting all carers and have recently unveiled a package of support for carers, many of whom will be supporting someone with dementia. The package includes £3 million per annum for a telephone helpline for carers and £25 million for the establishment of short-term, respite support in each council to cover crisis or emergency situations.

This is in addition to the existing carers grant which is paid to councils to help them support carers with short breaks and other services. The carers grant is worth £185 million in the current financial year and will be worth the same in 2007-08.

We recognise that the number of older people, particularly those over 85, is expected to rise sharply over the coming years with significant implications for public services and for health and social care in particular. We will assess proposals for the future provision of long-term care services as part of the long term vision of the comprehensive spending review 2007.

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