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29 Apr 2008 : Column 256W—continued

NHS: Security

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at how many sites (a) Safe Estates Ltd and (b) Camelot have been commissioned by the NHS to provide site security for existing or former hospital or medical facilities. [202519]


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Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has responsibility for one hospital site on which it has a current contract with Safe Estates Ltd. and Camelot. There are no other known contracts that the Department has with either firm.

The Department does not hold this information in respect of hospital sites owned and operated by the national health service. It is a matter for each NHS trust to make whatever arrangements it sees fit to cover its security needs.

Nurses: Schools

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many school nurses were employed by each primary care trust in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [200364]

Ann Keen: The annual national health service workforce census collected information on the number of school nurses employed by the NHS in England for the first time in 2004. A table showing the number of school nurses employed by each primary care trust in England from 2004-07 has been placed in the Library.


29 Apr 2008 : Column 258W

Plastic Surgery: Finance

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his policy is on funding for orbicularis oculi muscle strips. [201848]

Ann Keen: Funding for orbicularis oculi muscle strips is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs), as they have their own policies covering the circumstances in which this treatment may be available on the national health service. Most policies are based around ensuring that treatment of this kind is available where there is a clinical need to secure physical or psychological health.

Radiography: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) part-trained and (b) fully-trained radiographers were employed by the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust in each year since 1997. [201926]

Ann Keen: The requested information can be found in the following table.

NHS hospital and community health services: headcount of radiography staff in the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as at 30 September each specified year
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

All radiography staff

61

66

73

71

73

80

80

82

88

84

81

Qualified Staff

51

56

60

58

59

65

68

69

75

70

70

Manager

3

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Therapist

45

54

58

56

57

63

66

68

73

68

68

Technician

3

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

Tutor

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

Unqualified Staff

10

10

13

13

14

15

12

13

13

14

11

Student/Trainee

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

5

6

8

6

Helper/Assistant

10

10

13

13

14

15

8

8

7

6

5

Note:
Enhanced validation processes have led to the removal of duplicate records from the non-medical census (from 2006 onwards). Although percentages were small (less than 1 per cent.), comparisons with years prior to this need to be treated with caution.
Source:
The Information Centre for health and social care non-medical workforce census.

Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease: Out of Area Treatment

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients resident in Wales (a) received rehabilitation treatment at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease, Bath and (b) were referred for such treatment but failed to receive sanction for the referral in each of the last eight years for which figures are available. [202171]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 28 April 2008]: Information about the number of patients resident in Wales, who received rehabilitation treatment at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease in Bath, is not held centrally. In addition, information about patients resident in Wales who failed to receive sanction for referral for rehabilitation treatment, at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease is not collected centrally. It is the responsibility of Welsh local health boards to commission and fund rehabilitation services to meet the needs of their local populations, including the commissioning of treatment at centres in England.

Smoking: Public Places

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects of the smoking ban on (a) public health and (b) his Department’s expenditure; and what mechanisms he has put in place to measure these effects. [201663]

Dawn Primarolo: Smokefree legislation was introduced primarily to protect people from the harm of second-hand smoke in enclosed parts of work and public places.

Research has been commissioned which will evaluate various aspects of the impact of the smokefree law in England; the resulting reports will be published once completed and peer reviewed. While it is still too early for any of the Department’s commissioned research to have been published, in October 2007 Cancer Research
29 Apr 2008 : Column 259W
UK and the Tobacco Control Centre published results from a small scale study of the impact of the new law. That research found that hospitality workers exposure to harmful second-hand smoke may have fallen by 95 per cent. since 1 July 2007.

An assessment of the costs and benefits of smokefree legislation is set out in the Final Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), entitled “Final Regulatory Impact Assessment to be made under Powers in Part 1 Chapter 1 of the Health Act 2006” was published by the Department in December 2006.

Copies of the RIA are in the Library.

Work and Pensions

Carers’ Allowances

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the level of the carer premium in the preparation of the national carer strategy. [200674]

Mrs. McGuire: The Government's review of the National Carers Strategy is examining all aspects of benefits for carers. The conclusions of the review are due to be published in summer 2008.

Children: Maintenance

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what mechanisms for redress are available to people in circumstances where maintenance orders made by the High Court are not fully implemented by the Child Support Agency. [201847]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Child Support Agency is not responsible for implementing maintenance orders made by the High Court. Therefore such mechanisms would not be appropriate.

Departmental Standards

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to report on his Department's performance against public service agreements with deadlines of March 2008. [200467]

Mrs. McGuire: For all PSA targets with deadlines on or before March 2008, a final assessment will wherever possible be provided in the 2008 departmental report, expected to be published in mid May. Where time lags mean that a final assessment cannot be provided, progress to date will be reported. A final assessment will be given in the 2008 Autumn Performance Report or subsequent departmental report as soon as data availability allows.

Housing Benefit

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was allocated to each (a) London local authority and (b) region of the UK under the discretionary payment scheme in each of the last five years; and what proportion of funding allocated was used in each case. [200824]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information has been placed in the Library.


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David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have issued on the maximum distance a tenant in receipt of housing benefit in the private rented sector may be required to move as a result of the introduction of local housing allowance and the use of broad rental market areas as a basis for calculating allowance levels. [201225]

Mr. Plaskitt: Where a customer chooses to live is entirely a matter for the individual and their family, therefore the Department for Work and Pensions or its agencies have not issued any guidance on the maximum distance a tenant in receipt of housing benefit in the private rented sector may be required to move.

The aim of the Local Housing Allowance is to give customers a choice as to whether to rent accommodation cheaper than their Local Housing Allowance rate and keep the excess (£15 a week maximum) or be able to rent a more expensive property and pay additional rent from their own income.

Local Housing Allowance rates are set by rent officers at the median level within each Broad Rental Market Area. This means that exactly half of the rental properties within any Broad Rental Market are affordable to people claiming housing benefit.

Housing Benefit: Standards

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a housing benefit application was in each year since 2002-03. [200450]

Mr. Plaskitt: The available information is in the following table:

Average days to process housing benefit and council tax benefit claims
Number

2002-03

55

2003-04

50

2004-05

45

2005-06

37

2006-07

33

2007-08(1)

28

(1) April to September 2007. Source: Local Authority Management Information provided to DWP.

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process a housing benefit application in the worst performing 15 per cent. of local authorities was as at March 2008. [200461]

Mr. Plaskitt: Information for March 2008 is not yet available.


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