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Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health advocates he estimates there will be in each of the next three years; and what the estimated cost of employing them will be in each of those years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The provisions for independent mental health advocacy are expected to be introduced in April 2009. The Department has not estimated how many mental health advocates there will be in each of the next three years. It will be for local commissioners to determine the numbers of advocates required to fulfil their obligations under the Mental Health Act.
Consequently, the Department equally cannot estimate costs of employing these advocates. We are committed to providing additional funding for these services to local commissioners but, as priorities for additional funding from 2009-10 have not yet been finalised, we cannot yet confirm the exact amounts.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs to people under 16 years was in each of the last five years, broken down by health trust. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Prescription Price Division of the NHS Business Services Authority captures information about prescription of specific drugs to under 16s for only a sample of total prescriptions. A table showing the approximate cost of prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs to people under 16 years in the last five calendar years broken down by primary care trust, based on this sample data, has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of prescribing methadone to prisoners in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and whether heroin has been prescribed to prisoners during that period. 
Since April 2007, HM Prison Service has collected information on regular opioid prescriptions to prisoners. From April to December 2007, 9,242 maintenance prescriptions, for methadone and buprenorphine, were initiated.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he issues on the number of nurses per child designated to care for (a) sick and (b) premature babies in intensive care; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Keen: The Departments policy for neonatal services is set out in the Report of the Neonatal Intensive Care Services Review Group, April 2003, copies of which have been placed in the Library. The report considered nurse staffing ratios, concluding that staffing on a day-to-day basis should reflect infant and family dependency rather than simply cot numbers.
The nurse to baby ratio is not a straightforward issue, with the level of criticality ill babies varying from day to day. Therefore, decisions regarding safe occupancy and nursing ratios are matters for local networks and units.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department plans to allocate to primary care trusts for (a) palliative care, (b) disabled services and (c) hospice funding under the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2008-09; what guidance (i) he has issued and (ii) plans to issue on the allocation of such
funding; what recent representations he has received on the issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Funding has been included in primary care trust (PCT) allocations for 2008-09 for palliative care and disabled children in support of the objectives set out in The NHS in England: The Operating Framework for 2008-09. PCT allocations are not broken down into funding for individual areas, and it is for the national health service locally to decide how best to deliver the objectives in the light of the local needs and circumstances, including how much resource to invest. In addition to PCT allocations, there is a £9 million central grant in 2008-09 for childrens hospices and hospice at home services.
Future guidance that is due includes the End of Life Strategy and the Child Health Strategy, which will inform future operating frameworks, and consequently the funding the NHS will need to invest in support of their delivery. The Department has also announced that the grant for childrens hospices and hospice at home services will be extended for a further two years, by £20 million in total.
My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister and myself recently met a number of hon. Members to discuss the hospice funding issues. Work to develop the End of Life Care Strategy for adults, which is due to be published in the summer, has considered, among other things, the role of, and funding for hospices. The Department has also received other correspondence asking about funding for these services.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on palliative and end of life care in each of the last five years; and how many people received such care in each year. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We do not collect information centrally on expenditure on palliative/end of life care or the number of patients in receipt of palliative/end of life care. There are no central revenue allocations specifically for end of life care. Primary care trusts (PCTs) remain responsible within the national health service for commissioning and funding services for their resident population, including end of life care. It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England is comprehensive, evidence-based and subject to monitoring and evaluation. It is overseen by the Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group which provides leadership and support in ensuring successful implementation and valuable input into the development of various specific actions outlined in the strategy where members have a particular expertise.
An annual report is published setting out progress in implementing the strategy and highlighting further activity that will take place in the following year. The next report, covering the calendar year 2007, is due to be published in summer 2008.
There are no plans to develop a Suicide Prevention Strategy for England beyond 2010. However, we would expect the prevention of suicide to remain a priority area and the infrastructure is in place for co-ordinated suicide prevention measures to continue to be taken in partnership with other stakeholders.
Mr. Wills: We are currently finalising a process to inform the debate on the Statement of Values. This will include a series of events around the country. We expect to make an announcement about the way ahead before the summer recess.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to improve facilities for the families of victims in court; and what plans he has to increase the provision of (a) seating in public galleries in courtrooms and (b) rooms in court buildings for the use of the families of victims of crime. 
Her Majestys Courts Service (HMCS) has spent £3.7 million over the last three years improving court accommodation for victims and witnesses. The statutory code of practice for victims of crime places an obligation on the courts to ensure that victims (including families of deceased victims) have, and are directed to, a separate waiting area and a seat in the courtroom away from the defendants family or friends. In addition, the Government target for all Crown courts and 90 per cent. of magistrates courts to have separate waiting facilities by 2008 has already been met. The witness charter, which is expected to be
implemented by HMCS by March 2009, requires courts to arrange seating in the public gallery for families, where layout permits.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to improve the access of young people who are victims of crime to (a) counselling and (b) other support services. 
Maria Eagle: As part of its £37 million annual grant from the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Victim Support provides emotional and practical support for over 1.4 million victims of crime a year, of which about 300,000 a year are under the age of 18. Clinically-accredited counselling is not provided directly by Victim Support, but can be commissioned by Victim Support as part of the support service it provides to victims. The Youth Crime Action Plan to be published in summer 2008 will include proposals to support young victims of crime.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was paid in end-of-year performance bonuses to (a) all staff and (b) staff at senior civil service level in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in the 2007-08 financial year; and how many payments were made. 
Bridget Prentice: Year-end-bonus payments are paid to high performing staff to reflect their individual contribution during the previous performance year. In the Ministry of Justice, for both senior civil service (SCS) and grades below SCS, the performance year runs from 1 April to 31 March. Therefore, 2006-07 was the relevant performance year for the payments made during the financial year 2007-8.
For the Senior Civil Service end of year performance bonuses are allocated by the Departmental Pay Committee in accordance with guidelines issued by Cabinet Office each year following the Senior Salaries Review Body recommendations. As the Ministry of Justice was not formed until after the end of the 2006-07 performance year, SCS staff bonuses were determined by the pay committees in their departments prior to the creation of the Ministry.
For grades below the SCS end of year end performance bonuses are paid to staff who have been judged to have consistently exceeded their objectives throughout the performance year under the Ministry's performance management system.
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The information contained above excludes payments to staff on Home Office terms who transferred from the Home Office to the Ministry of Justice in May 2007 (with the establishment of the Ministry). Details for these staff is included in the answer provided by the Home Office.
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Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons ballot papers for the London Mayoral elections instructed voters to vote for two candidates and did not mention their right not to cast a second preference. 
Bridget Prentice: The Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2007 specify the form and content of the ballot papers. These were drafted after significant research and development work carried out by the communications officers of the GLA London Elects team, including trials of use of the ballot papers by the public.
For the sake of clarity, instructions to voters on ballot papers are kept to a minimum and a fuller explanation of the use of first and second preference votes was given in guidance materials and factsheets available to all electors.
Mr. Hanson: Every effort is made to keep absconds to a minimum. Records show that both the National Offender Management Service in general, and Hollesley Bay individually, are succeeding in these efforts, and that given the high occupancy rate this demonstrates, that protecting the public is the main priority of all prisons, especially open establishments. Absconds in 2007-08 are less than half the level of 10 years ago(1).
(1) Absconds for 1997-98 were 1,056.
|Absconds England and Wales||Absconds Hollesley Bay|
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