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Drugs: Misuse

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the purpose is of the Drug Change Programme pilots; and what assessment he has made of the implications of the pilots for levels of bureaucracy in the administration of drug and alcohol treatment. [241688]

Dawn Primarolo: The purpose of the Drug System Change Pilots programme is to test the potential to make improvements that can make a real difference in the way drug provision is delivered at a regional and local level. In the Drug Strategy, ‘Drugs: protecting families and communities (2008)’, the Government made a commitment to test out new approaches to delivering services, which ensures the drug treatment system and broader social support services work more closely together and become more focused on improved outcomes, including more personalised and innovative services. A copy of the strategy has already been placed in the Library.

This pilot programme will give drug partnerships the opportunity to develop new approaches that allow them to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and burdens. Funding will also be available to pilot areas to kick-start the pilots and help build capacity by funding the appointment of a project manager and administrative support.

Health Services: Human Trafficking

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Government-funded residential places were available at any one time for women who were victims of human trafficking in each of the last five years. [241541]

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Government-funded residential places were available for women who were victims of human trafficking in each month of the last five years. [241804]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The Government have funded the Poppy project to provide specialist, high-level support to victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation since 2003. During the piloting of the project between 2003 and 2005, the service provided 25 supported accommodation places on a rolling basis. Funding was
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increased in 2006 to provide 25 acute places, 10 resettlement places and an outreach service. In 2007 and 2008 the project was provided with an additional small flexible budget to help with capacity building so victims can be temporarily accommodated in other refuges where necessary.

The Poppy project has supported 401 women since it opened in 2003; 210 received supported accommodation and 191 received outreach support. A break-down on occupancy levels by year is not available. Data on the number of victims that have not been able to access the Poppy project due to it reaching capacity in the last five years is not available.

We are currently tendering for a national support service model for victims of human trafficking, which will include an increased number of accommodation places from spring 2009.

Health Services: Stoke on Trent

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent progress has been made in respect of patient representation in the health service in Stoke-on-Trent; and if he will make a statement. [244062]

Ann Keen: The information requested is not collected centrally.

The Government are committed to creating a stronger voice for service users and members of the public at every level of the health—and social care—system, developing systems that are led by what people want and that learn from experience.

A number of ways exist for patients or their representatives—as well as their families and carers, and members of the public—not only to express their views on their experiences of care and their needs for services but to have different levels of more direct involvement in influencing the planning, commissioning, delivery and scrutiny of publicly funded services.

For example there is a duty on the national health service to involve people in service planning and development, a new duty on primary care trusts to report back to communities on the impact of consultation on their commissioning decisions, and a local involvement network in each local authority with social services responsibilities area in England. We are also introducing a single, more simple, complaints system covering all NHS and adult social care services that focuses on the individual and seeks to ensure that people's experiences help to improve services. NHS foundation trusts also offer the opportunity of membership to local people.

Health Visitors

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the role of health visitors in safeguarding children; [244521]

(2) what assessment he has made of the contribution that health visitors make towards safeguarding children. [244523]

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Ann Keen: Ministers and officials of the Department and the Department for Children, Schools and Families have regular discussions about all aspects of safeguarding children. Health visitors, like all health professionals working directly with children, have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare.

Hospitals: Hygiene

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of hospitals in meeting hygiene and cleanliness standards. [245003]

Ann Keen: NHS Estates set up the Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) programme in 2000 to inspect hospital cleanliness. This programme is now managed by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). Under the PEAT programme, every inpatient health care facility in England with more than 10 beds is assessed annually. PEAT inspections cover food and aspects of privacy and dignity, as well as cleanliness and the environment. All areas have shown improvement this year. The hospital PEAT scores for 2008 show 98.5 per cent. of hospitals are now rated excellent, good or acceptable. More information can be found on the NPSA website:

The Health Act 2006: Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections, commonly called the "Hygiene Code", came into force on 1 October 2006 and requires national health service bodies to have appropriate management and clinical governance systems in place to deliver effective infection control. Compliance with the Code is assessed by the Healthcare Commission (HCC), who have the power to issue an “improvement notice” to an NHS body that is not compliant. During 2007-08 the HCC carried out 120 unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with the Hygiene Code and, from April 2008, specialist teams from the HCC have been carrying out annual infection control inspections of all acute trusts against the Hygiene Code. Four improvement notices have been issued to acute trusts by the HCC so far. All four trusts subsequently demonstrated that they had improved and were compliant with the Hygiene Code.

As part of the HCC's Annual Health Check, the HCC asks all NHS trusts to declare their performance against the 44 parts of the 24 core standards for NHS healthcare, as set out in “Standards for Better Health”. The HCC then carries out a number of inspections to test these declarations. Three standards relate to the hygiene code, C04a (infection control), C04c (decontamination) and C21 (clean environments). In the 2007-08 annual health check, the national compliance rate in the NHS for C04a (infection control) was 88 per cent., the compliance rate for C04c (decontamination) was 77 per cent., and the compliance rate for C21 (clean environments) was 90 per cent.

Further information on the HCC's programme, including the results of their inspections of individual trusts against the Hygiene Code, a summary of their findings of the first 51 inspections against the Hygiene Code in 2008 and their reports on the 2007-08 Annual Health Check and on the State of Healthcare 2008, can be found on their website, The Care Quality Commission, the new health and
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adult social care regulator established under the new Health and Social Care Act, will continue to regulate and inspect trusts against their requirements to prevent and control infections.

Learning Disability

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to improve information provision for people with a learning disability who require social care; and if he will make a statement; [244766]

(2) if he will commission research to analyse potential financial savings to the Department of Health of greater investment in employment provision for people with a learning disability; [244767]

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure black and minority ethnic communities are aware of the social care available to support people with a learning disability; and if he will make a statement. [244806]

Phil Hope: People from black and minority ethnic communities with learning disabilities and their families may need better information about the social care support that is available to them. This was highlighted in the “Valuing People Now” (December 2007) consultation, and action to address this concern will be a priority in the forthcoming strategy, which is due to be published in the new year.

It is important for people with learning disabilities to have the right information in a format that is accessible to them. “Putting People First” (December 2007), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, sets out that people should have access to better support, information and advocacy so they (and their carers) are able to find the information they need. This will be addressed in the “Valuing People Now” strategy.

A key strand of that forthcoming strategy will be around supporting people with learning disabilities to have jobs. We are working across Government to support the implementation of Public Service Agreement 16, which aims to support socially excluded adults, including those with learning disabilities, into employment and settled accommodation. This includes work on the “Getting a Life” programme, which will help to improve the evidence base and ensure greater working opportunities are available for people with learning disabilities. The Department has no current plans to commission other research on this issue.

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to local authorities to ensure that their resource allocation systems achieve a fair and effective allocation of resources for people with learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement. [244769]

Phil Hope: It is for local authorities to ensure that their systems for allocating social care funding are fair and effective. The Department published a personalisation toolkit in June 2008 which provides local authorities with advice and working examples to help them transform their social care systems, including the development of their resource allocation systems. A copy has been placed in the Library.

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Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the mortality rate of people with a learning disability has been in each of the last 30 years; [244803]

(2) how many people with a learning disability received state-funded social care in the latest period for which figures are available. [244805]

Phil Hope: We do not have information on the mortality rates of people with a learning disability in each of the last 30 years.

Data on the number of people receiving services funded either fully or partially by councils with adult social services responsibilities (CASSRs) in England is collected and published by The NHS Information Centre for health and social care as part of the referrals, assessments and packages of care return.

During the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 137,000 adults aged 18-64 in England with learning disabilities received a social care service funded either partly or wholly by their CASSR following a community care assessment. Data for 2007-08 will be published at the end of this month.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the out-of-area placement of people with learning disabilities in each of the last five years. [245007]

Phil Hope: The Department's policy is that services should be personalised to meet the needs of the individual including providing support as close to home as possible.

We have a programme of work to support development of local services so that people with learning disabilities do not need to be sent away from home. The Department has not commissioned specific research on out-of-area placements.

Learning Disability: Babies

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effect advances in peri-natal and neo-natal care have had on the number of babies with profound and multiple learning disabilities surviving beyond infancy; and if he will make a statement. [244802]

Ann Keen: No recent assessment has been made.

Advances in technology and health care expertise has led to increasing survival rates of very premature babies over the last 20 years. Over the past decade, survival has improved dramatically for babies born at 26 weeks of gestation and above so that now over 80 per cent. survive.

The EPICure Study (led by the Department of Child Health, University of Nottingham) was established in 1995 to determine the chances of survival and later health status by following up children who were born in the United Kingdom and Ireland at less than 26 weeks gestational age during a 10 month period in that year. This is now an on-going study, which it is hoped will not only show survival and rates of disability but also identify factors at birth, which could give an indication as to the long-term outcome for the survivors.

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The latest information is that of all babies born at 25 weeks gestation that survive to six years 60 per cent. are either not disabled or have a mild disability and 40 per cent. will have moderate to severe disability.

Lyme Disease

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will institute a national register of those who have contracted Lyme disease. [245188]

Dawn Primarolo: There are no plans to set up a national register for cases of Lyme disease. Robust surveillance nationally is already in place, based upon reporting of all laboratory confirmed cases of Borrelia burgdorferi infection, the cause of Lyme disease. The Department is proposing to strengthen this surveillance by making meningitis associated with Borrelia infection notifiable under proposed new regulations to be made under the Public Health Control of Disease Act 1984. We will be consulting on this latter proposal shortly.

Mental Health Services

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in achieving race equality in the local commissioning of mental health services. [240358]

Phil Hope: In 2005 the Department launched ‘Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care’ (DRE). DRE is a five year action plan designed to improve black and minority ethnic (BME) communities' experience of mental health services, and to address the apparent inequalities in the incidence of severe mental illness between ethnic groups in England. There has been significant progress.

For example, the DRE programme has helped to develop replicable good practice around tailored pathways of care for BME service users; new training in race equality for mental health staff has been tested successfully and made available nationally; pilot projects of the programme improving access to psychological therapies have demonstrated that BME communities can have equal access to, and equal outcomes from, the new services; and primary care trusts have so far recruited over 400 new community development workers, whose role is to build links between local BME communities and mental health services and to help communities play a part in planning and providing those services.

We do, though, believe that the national health service still must do more to meet the needs of increasingly diverse local populations, particularly by delivering early and equitable access to effective community-based interventions. These issues will stay a priority for services for the duration of the DRE programme and beyond.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps he has taken to improve primary care services for people with mental health problems. [240709]

Phil Hope: We are investing significantly in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT), with annual funding rising to £173 million to train 3,600 extra therapists and treat 900,000 more people by 2011. Investment in IAPT will help to add to existing provision of psychological therapies, increase capacity,
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reduce waiting times and drive up quality standards. Primary care trusts will be able to offer patients a fully integrated care pathway for mental health services, from mild to moderate depression or anxiety disorders to acute mental health problems.

Mental Health Services: Prisons

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners received mental health care treatment in the last financial year. [240694]

Phil Hope: This information is not collected centrally.

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