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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Ivan Lewis) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
We are today laying before Parliament the Governments response (Cm 7378) to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) report A Life Like Any Other? Human Rights of Adults with Learning Disabilities, which was published on 6 March.
The JCHRs report recognises that life for people with learning disabilities has improved considerably over the past 30 years. However, the committee still found serious cause for concern about the way people with learning disabilities are treated by society at large.
The Government response welcomes the JCHRs report and sets out the Governments commitment and practical steps that we are taking to uphold the rights of adults with learning disabilities in mainstream public services.
Several of the committees recommendations are around influencing the outcome of the consultation response on Valuing People Now, the Governments consultation on learning disability policy. This response commits the Government to revisiting the JCHR report and providing a further response to the committee when publishing the final Valuing People Now strategy.
My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Anne McGuire) is making a Written Statement today on the Government's response to the committee's recommendation about ratification of the UN convention which is contained in this publication.
I am today publishing a draft Marine Navigation Bill, for public consultation and parliamentary pre-legislative scrutiny. The draft Bill contains legislative proposals to help to improve safety at sea and in our ports, to deal with wrecks if they do occur and to update the powers of the bodies responsible for maritime safety. Copies of the draft Bill, a consultation paper and other accompanying documents are available in the Libraries of the House and the Vote Office.
The issues dealt with in this Bill have been identified in a number of reviews, accident reports and the IMO International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007. In bringing forward this draft Bill I hope to address these issues as far as can
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There are also measures in the draft Bill that will help to reduce costs to the shipping industry through the better management of the General Lighthouse Fund. When the IMO Convention comes into force there will be significant improvements in our ability to recoup the costs of dealing with pollution and the aftermath of maritime accidents as it will introduce a strict liability regime and compulsory insurance for shipping operators, meaning that these costs will no longer be picked up by the authorities responsible for safety and the environment which can now happen when the operators or owners of the ship fail to accept responsibility.
Publication of the draft Bill provides an important opportunity to ensure that we get our proposals right through public consultation, and for Parliament to scrutinise the legislation in draft. We need to learn from and build on the diversity of experience of professionals in the ports and shipping industries and all who are concerned about the safety of shipping and the protection of the marine and coastal environment, so I encourage all interested parties to participate in the consultation process.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am pleased to inform the House of the outcomes of our review of defence medical rehabilitation. The review concluded that defence medical rehabilitation is a success story, returning service personnel, whenever possible, to full fitness faster than in the past.
The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court is widely recognised as delivering first-class specialist rehabilitation of complex cases. The enormous benefit of bringing together service personnel, both those wounded on operations and those injured in training, contributes to the astonishing recovery that so many of our patients make.
Our review has confirmed that the DMRC at Headley Court should continue to be the specialist centre for rehabilitation, and has recommended further improvements so that it can continue to deliver first-class care.
In the light of the review we have now decided to invest an additional £24 million in the Headley Court site over the next four years to maintain and enhance DMRCs capabilities. This will enable us to:replace the new ward annex (designed to be a temporary structure) by extending the Peter Long Unit, and incorporating into that extension an expanded prosthetics facility, treatment areas, and imaging facilities; and replace progressively over the next few years all the existing 180 non-ward bed patient and staff accommodation.
I pay tribute to the charitable bodies that have also contributed to the work of DMRC and its predecessor organisations since Headley Court first opened its doors to RAF patients shortly after the Second World
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The Sailors, Soldiers and Airmens Family Association has purchased a house in nearby Ashtead which was opened earlier this year as a home from home for families visiting patients at Headley Court, supplementing accommodation that we had already provided on site.
Last year a new charity, Help for Heroes, generously offered to raise funds for a swimming pool and gym, which would together form a new rehabilitation complex, with additional space for rehabilitation and assessment. The charity has already made impressive progress in its fund-raising. We are working closely with Help for Heroes in planning the new facility.
We warmly welcome the contributions of charities to the welfare of the services. Support for them enables the public to demonstrate their appreciation for the work of the Armed Forces in tangible ways.
The new investment I have announced today, together with current funding for new facilities, means that Headley Court will see investment over the next four years totalling some £28 million in addition to the substantial funding that Help for Heroes intends to provide for the new rehabilitation complex.
Our review also looked at the services primary care rehabilitation facilities (PCRFs) and regional rehabilitation units (RRUs). The review recommended enhancements to the permanent capability of RRUs, and improvements to the referrals process. The roles and locations of some of the RRUs should be adjusted to align better with current and future population centres. I have agreed that we should provide an additional £1.5 million per year from financial year 2009-10 to establish the necessary permanent manning uplifts at the RRUs, and commissioned further work to take forward the other recommendations.
The outcomes of the review demonstrate our commitment to rehabilitation. The review charts the strategic direction that we shall now follow, to build on our success to date in returning service personnel to mobility and usually to duty. In partnership with the charity sector, we are ensuring that service patients, particularly those severely wounded on operations, receive the best treatment that is available and that it is delivered in an environment that supports their rehabilitation in every way possible. Our servicemen and women deserve no less for the efforts that they are making on our behalf.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) supports the Public Guardian in discharging his statutory duties under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The OPG was formed in October 2007 with the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act and 2008-09 is therefore the first full financial year of operation for the agency.
All deputyship cases will require a supervision regime based on a risk assessment. Risk criteria include: whether a deputy has been refused credit or is an undischarged bankrupt; whether the deputy has any financial interests which conflict with those of the client; the value of the clients estate; the relationship of the deputy to the client and any objections which were made to the appointment of the deputy.90 per cent of new deputyship cases will be assessed and a supervision level set within 30 working days of the court order being served on the Public Guardian;100 per cent of ongoing deputyships with close supervision (type I) will have a formal reassessment of the supervision level within 13 months of the previous assessment; and we will carry out a case review on no less than 4,000 type II cases during the year.A case review could be a combination of: review of annual report;carrying out a visit; and review of supervision level following short term intervention.
The contact centre will act as a point of communication for anybody contacting the OPG for advice and information about the OPG, the Court of
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On receipt of an investigations case in the compliance and regulation unit it is allocated to a specific caseworker. At this point of allocation the 14-day target to set an action begins. The three-month target to complete the investigation is inclusive of the 14 days in which the action plan is put in place.we will put in place an approved action plan in 100 per cent of investigations cases within 14 days of receipt; and 75 per cent of investigations will be completed within three months.
The total cost of carrying out the provision of services to the taxpayer, less social subsidy/fee remission; financial losses over and above a yearly notional premium; in-year bad debts write-off and exceptional items.
Copies of the Office of the Public Guardian framework document and business plan will be available in the Libraries of both Houses and from the website of the OPG www.publicguardian.gov.uk from 2 May 2008.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
In a Written Statement on 9 January 2008, I summarised the remit of Sir Jim Roses independent review of the primary curriculum. Among other things, his remit includes making recommendations on introducing greater flexibility to help schools narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
In the Childrens Plan, the Government acknowledged that more needs to be done to improve outcomes and provision for children with special educational needs and to increase parental confidence that childrens educational needs are being met, including for children with dyslexia.
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