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17 Sep 2008 : Column 2206Wcontinued
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to ensure that responses to the current South East Plan consultation made in writing but not on an official Government Office for the South East response form will be fully considered as part of the consultation process. 
Mr. Dhanda: We have set up a consultation portal
in order to make it easier for people to respond electronically. However, we will, of course, consider written representation whether using the comments form or not.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes were repossessed (a) in each local housing authority area and (b) nationwide in each of the last four quarters for which figures are available. 
Mr. Dhanda: There are two independent sources of data on actual numbers of mortgage possessions, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Financial Services Authority. However, both are only available for the United Kingdom as a whole.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders data is available on its website at
The Financial Services Authority data is available on its website at
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information is collected by local authorities on the number and percentage of disabled children in each locality accessing short breaks services; what analysis her Department has made of such data; and if she will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: I have been asked to reply.
Although local authority data on disabled children's access to short break services is not currently available, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has asked authorities to begin to collect this data as part of the Children in Need (CIN) Census. The first CIN Census is a child-level data collection that will run from 1 October 2008 to 31 March 2009. Data will be submitted to the Department by the end of June 2009 and published in autumn 2009. Figures on the number of children accessing short breaks will then be provided through the CIN Census on an annual basis for each financial year from 2009-10 onwards.
For a limited period beginning in April 2009, the DCSF will also monitor local authority progress in growing short break services through complementary information collected as part of the Aiming High for Disabled Children delivery programme.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) administration costs and (b) average costs per case for the Standards Board for England were in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Dhanda: Average costs per case are shown in the following table.
The Standards Board does not disaggregate administration costs, which are included in the figures.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the public health effects of people maintaining allotments. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No specific considerations have been given to the health benefits of maintaining an allotment, but cultivating an allotment represents a rewarding opportunity for building physical activity into everyday life for those seeking an alternative to sport or other structured exercise. There is also evidence that exercising in a natural environment can bring additional benefits for health and wellbeing.
There is also value in children growing their own food and recognising where food comes from as a real incentive to eating their Five a Day.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which areas of England bowel cancer screening has not yet commenced. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We are continuing to roll out the National Health Service Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and expect it to be fully implemented by December 2009. The following table lists the remaining primary care trusts where bowel cancer screening will commence in the final roll out.
|Strategic health authority||Primary care trust|
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much expenditure his Department allocated to services for people with dementia-related illnesses resident in (a) Westmorland and Lonsdale, (b) Morecombe Bay Primary Care Trust area, (c) the North West region and (d) England in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not held centrally.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information is gathered by primary care trusts on the number and percentage of disabled children in each catchment area accessing universal and specialist services; what collation of such information his Department has undertaken; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: This information is not available centrally. However, as part of the Public Service Agreement on the health and wellbeing of children, a disability indicator is being developed. This will be measured at local level from 2009-10.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons NHS optical vouchers cannot be issued following a private sight test. 
Mr. Bradshaw: National health service optical vouchers provide access to public funds and can only be issued following an NHS funded sight test. Optometrists and ophthalmic medical practitioners who conduct NHS funded sight tests must be approved and included on a primary care trust (PCT) performers list. As part of that approved role, they will also issue NHS optical vouchers.
The issuing of an optical voucher, following an NHS sight test by practitioners on a PCT performers list, provides protection to ensure that public funds are properly spent and vouchers issued appropriately, and provides a system of accountability to the NHS. If there is evidence of malpractice, the NHS can take steps against the practitioner, including if necessary, removing them from the performers list, which would prevent them for carrying out NHS funded sight tests and issuing optical vouchers. PCTs do not have the same remedies available in the case of private practitioners.
Jeremy Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average cost was of a visit to a patient by the out of hours service in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) what the average cost was of a consultation by the out of hours service in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(3) what the average cost of an out of hours service telephone call providing advice or guidance was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested is not held by the Department.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) now have a legal responsibility to ensure they provide, or secure provision of a high- quality, sustainable service for their local population. Therefore, it is the responsibility of PCTs to performance- manage the provision of out of hours service.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects of the level of immunisation against measles in east London; whether he plans to promote a programme for greater immunisation amongst those deemed most vulnerable; whether a separate measles vaccination is provided in circumstances in which parents prefer that option; what recent representations his Department has received on the computer system used to manage immunisation records; and if he will make a statement. 
Information on vaccination uptake levels by primary care trusts is published annually by the Information Centre (a copy of the most recent report NHS Immunisation Statistics, England: 2006-07' has already been placed in the Library). The Department is concerned about the low levels of MMR immunisation generally, and London in particular. In order to reduce the risk of measles outbreaks, an MMR catch-up campaign for England was launched on 6 August 2008. The letter
from the Chief Medical Officer to primary care trusts details the priority groups that are most in need of the MMR immunisation.
The NHS does not recommend single measles, mumps or rubella vaccines because there is no evidence to support the use of single vaccines or to suggest that they are in any way safer than MMR. Every independent expert group around the world (including the World Health Organisation) supports the use of MMR, and none support the use of single vaccines.
The Department is an observer on the Child Health Board which is managing the implementation of the IT system that will replace Child Health Interim Application (CHIA) or London. London primary care trusts are represented on the board and can make representations regarding CHIA at this forum.
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