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18 May 2007 : Column 1024W—continued

Wheelchairs: Voucher Schemes

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which primary care trusts provided wheelchair vouchers for families with a disabled child in each of the last three financial years; [135759]

(2) whether she has made an assessment of the (a) adequacy and (b) merits for families of the NHS Wheelchair Voucher scheme; [135760]

(3) what progress has been made in meeting the Health Care Standards for Wheelchair Services under the NHS, as agreed by the National Wheelchair Managers’ Forum in March 2005; and if she will make a statement; [135761]

(4) how much was spent on NHS wheelchair services for (a) children and young people and (b) others in England in each of the last five financial years, broken down by primary care trust; [135762]

(5) what assessment she has made of the mobility needs of children who do not meet NHS eligibility criteria for powered indoor and outdoor wheelchairs; [135763]

(6) what percentage of children and young people under the age of 18 referred to a local wheelchair service in each of the last five years did not meet the NHS’s eligibility criteria for (a) a lightweight manual
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wheelchair and (b) a powered indoor and outdoor wheelchair; [135764]

(7) which NHS wheelchair services provided powered indoor-outdoor wheelchairs for disabled children and young people aged (a) two years and under, (b) between the ages of three and five years, (c) between the ages of six and 12 years and (d) between the ages of 13 and 18 years in each of the last three years. [135765]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not collect centrally the following information:

The Department commissioned the York Health Economics Consortium to evaluate the powered wheelchair and voucher scheme initiatives. Its report, published in March 2000, recommended that the continuation of voucher schemes should be a matter for local decision in consultation with service users.

The transforming community equipment and wheelchair services programme has developed two
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potential models for wheelchair services in collaboration with users and their carers. However, further data are required before recommendations can be made for the way forward. The programme will be working with wheelchair services to develop the new data gathering exercise. David Nicholson, the NHS Chief Executive, will be writing to PCTs and strategic health authorities to encourage them to support this next stage of the programme.

The mobility needs of children are assessed at a local level as part of individual needs assessments and planning. No separate assessment is made by the Department.

The National Wheelchair Managers’ Forum has adopted the national wheelchair service standards (2004). A national working party developed the standards. This document was not produced or endorsed by the Department and is not subject to Departmental monitoring or review.

Young People: Alcoholic Drinks

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to inform young people of the long-term impact of sustained, excessive alcohol consumption on their health. [132316]

Caroline Flint: The Government are determined to reduce the harm caused to young people by alcohol misuse and committed to educating young people on the very real harm it can cause. Alcohol education is now part of the national curriculum. Updated guidance makes clear that alcohol education should be about sensible drinking and reducing harm.

The Government have funded a high profile alcohol campaign, ‘Know your Limits’, aimed at 18 to 24-year-old binge drinkers, warning them of the harms associated with binge drinking.

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